Palestinian Lentils and Rice With Crispy Onions

Total Time
3hrs 45mins
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 45 mins

This is so delicious and so simple. It's a little exotic, very flavorful, and will make your kitchen smell wonderful as it cooks - and my preference is to add extra cumin! I've never made it without first soaking the rice and lentils, but the dish could surely be adapted to no-soaking if you're looking to cut some of the prep time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak lentils in water for 3 hours; drain.
  2. Soak rice in water for 1/2 hour; drain.
  3. Saute onions in a large skillet for about 15 minutes, or until very brown and crisp.
  4. Remove onions to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and add lentils and rice to skillet; saute quickly in the browned-onion-flavored oil, adding cumin, salt and pepper.
  6. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover very tightly and then cook on very low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. To serve, fluff up rice and lentils and top with the crispy browned onions.


Most Helpful

Definitely a hit! Followed recipe exactly (but doubled it for a buffet dinner party). Nice that the dish appealed to everyone - young kids, adults, vegetarians and non. Will definitely be one of my go-to's from here on out. Easy too, but one caveat: the onions take much longer to crisp (wo/ burning) than one might expect - well over an hour.

Caromcg May 04, 2012

We eat this all the time, but use only Indian basmati rice. It should be made with brown lentils to be Palestinian. It is the most basic meal and super inexpensive and just delicious! True arabic comfort food; and healthy to boot! I have found that it sometimes needs to be cooked longer when you don't soak the lentils but you can just add a little more water and cook until it dries up. You can take the lid of the pot at the end if it's still too watery when the lentils are done. Serving it with yogurt or a tomato salad like #202576 is a must! I also make extra onions and serve half mixed in with the rice and half on top. Then set the yogurt and tomato salad out as "side dishes" or toppings. This is a great dish!

loverania October 27, 2007

Delicious! Perfect just as written. I'll be making this again many, many times! Used brown lentils which I soaked in boiling water for about 1 1/2 hours. I had no problem cooking the onions crisply. The problem was not to eat them before the lentils and rice were finished cooking.Thanks for sharing. cg

COOKGIRl December 01, 2005

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a