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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Perfumed Rice With Lamb and Lentils Recipe
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    Perfumed Rice With Lamb and Lentils

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    6 hrs 30 mins

    2 hrs 30 mins

    4 hrs

    DrGaellon's Note:

    Adapted from a Jeffrey Steingarten (_The Man Who Ate Everything_) article about affordable eating. There isn't a lot of meat for the number of servings, but it's plenty, especially with the protein from the lentils and the carbs from the rice. Posted on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog by Rebekah Denn at

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, cardamom and cumin. Stir well and set aside.
    2. 2
      Rinse the rice vigorously in five changes of water (or under running water until it runs clear). Combine rice with 8 cups water and 2 tbsp salt. Let soak at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
    3. 3
      In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the minced onions and saute until limp and golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add the lamb, 3/4 tsp salt, a large pinch of black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of the spice mixture from step 1. Saute 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until meat is tender, 2 1/2-3 hours.
    4. 4
      About 30 minutes before the meat is ready, prepare the lentils and rice. Combine lentils with 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt, bring to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes, then drain.
    5. 5
      In a frying pan, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add sliced onion and saute until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add raisins and dates, saute another 2 minutes, then take off heat and set aside.
    6. 6
      Bring 2 qt water and 2 tbsp salt to a boil in a large (4-pt) nonstick pot. Add drained soaked rice and parboil 3-5 minutes, until grains are firm but no longer brittle. Drain rice and rinse under hot water.
    7. 7
      In the same pot, melt butter. Transfer half of it to a small bowl and set aside. Mix half the rice with the yogurt and spread it in the bottom of the pot (on top of the butter). Sprinkle rice with a layer of lentils, then a layer of onion-and-fruit mixture, also sprinkling remaining spice mixture between layers. Fluff remaining rice and repeat layering until all ingredients are used up; reduce the diameter of each layer so it forms a rough cone/pyramid.
    8. 8
      Cover and cook over medium heat 10 minutes to form a nice crust on the bottom. Remove the cover, drizzle reserved melted butter over the contents, lay a dish towel over the top of the pot, re-cover and cook over low heat 50 minutes. Without moving the lid, set the pot on a cold, wet dishtowel on the counter for 5 minutes (to loosen the crust).
    9. 9
      Transfer rice-and-lentil mixture to a serving platter, again forming a cone or pyramid shape. When only the crust remains in the pot, dislodge it with a knife or spatula and serve separately; it is considered a sign of good luck to get it out in one piece. Spoon the lamb stew around the pile of rice and serve.

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    Nutritional Facts for Perfumed Rice With Lamb and Lentils

    Serving Size: 1 (308 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 8

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 721.4
    Calories from Fat 297
    Total Fat 33.0 g
    Saturated Fat 14.0 g
    Cholesterol 71.9 mg
    Sodium 366.9 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 89.2 g
    Dietary Fiber 7.9 g
    Sugars 22.3 g
    Protein 19.8 g

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