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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Nigella Lawson Caramelized Onion & Lentil Pilaf Recipe
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    Nigella Lawson Caramelized Onion & Lentil Pilaf

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    40 mins

    0 mins

    40 mins

    nomnom's Note:

    Came across this recipe on in an article written by the Kitchen Goddess herself: Nigella Lawson. Haven't tried it yet, but I thought I'd share this. I'm drooling over the thought of it! :) I did omit the ghee to make it healthier.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat over medium heat.
    2. 2
      Add onion slices, and sauté until softened and deep golden brown.
    3. 3
      Remove half the onions and set aside.
    4. 4
      Reduce heat to medium-low and add turmeric, cumin, coriander, cloves, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
    5. 5
      Add salt, and season with black pepper to taste.
    6. 6
      Combine lentils and rice in a fine-meshed sieve, and rinse well with cold water.
    7. 7
      Drain, then add to pan.
    8. 8
      Add 4 cups water, raise heat, and bring to a boil.
    9. 9
      Cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
    10. 10
      Water should be completely absorbed; if not, remove pan from heat, remove lid and cover pan with a kitchen towel, then replace lid and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
    11. 11
      To serve, fluff pilaf with a fork, and transfer to a serving bowl.
    12. 12
      Garnish with reserved onions.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on January 06, 2007


      This was ok but not amazing. I think my main problem was the mustard seeds, which I would eliminate in the future. Also, be sure to follow her instructions and reserve some of the onions. I might even reserve all of them, because the cooked ones loose a lot of their flavor.

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    • on October 19, 2006

      This was delicious but it does need either Ghee (in original recipe) or oil to caramelise the oinions in and then to turn the rice in before cooking.

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    • on October 10, 2003


      We ate this tonight with Black Pepper Chicken Curry by Sackville Girl Nigella Lawson Caramelized Onion & Lentil Pilaf. It was a fantastic change from the steamed rice we normally eat with our curries, and more a dish in its own right! I did add a tablespoon of oil to caremelize the onion as I couldn't see how it would work otherwise when the onion needed to cook for about 30 minutes. I also threw in a garlic clove that was sitting on the counter and used the French puy lentils as suggested. They retained a nice texture that contrasted well with the rice. Lots of good flavour for such a simple recipe and one I want to make again soon. I'm also looking forward to the leftovers!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (4)


    Nutritional Facts for Nigella Lawson Caramelized Onion & Lentil Pilaf

    Serving Size: 1 (84 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 6

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 238.8
    Calories from Fat 13
    Total Fat 1.4 g
    Saturated Fat 0.2 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Sodium 780.5 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 45.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 11.3 g
    Sugars 1.7 g
    Protein 11.0 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:


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