Rice / Summer / Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi / Serves: 6

250g green or brown lentils
4 medium onions (700g)
3 tbsp plain flour
about 250ml sunflower oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tbsp coriander seeds
200g basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp ground allspice
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
350ml water
salt and black pepper


It is best served warm alongside Yoghurt with Cucumber but it is also fine at room temperature.


Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Ebury Press, 2012

Place the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil and cook for 12–15 minutes or until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite, then drain.

Peel and slice the onions thinly.
Place on a large flat plate, sprinkle with the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix well with your hands.
Heat up 250ml of sunflower oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan placed on a high heat.
Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and carefully (it may spit!) add a third of the sliced onion.
Fry for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until the onion takes on a nice golden-brown colour and turns crispy (adjust the temperature so the onion doesn't fry too quickly and burn).
Use your spoon to transfer into a colander lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little more salt.
Do the same with the other two batches of onion; add a little extra oil if needed.

Wipe clean the saucepan in which you fried the onion and put in the cumin and coriander seeds.
Place on a medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two.
Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, ½ a teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper.
Stir to coat the rice with oil and then add the cooked lentils and the water.
Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer on a very low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, lift off the lid and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel.
Seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.

Finally, add half the fried onion to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork.
Pile up in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.