Simple and quick traditional Lebanese dish, eaten as a main with a side of village salad and/or yoghurt and cucumber. The main flavour profile for this dish is cumin.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (116 votes)


  • 325 g (1½ cups) green lentils, washed and drained
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 brown onions (1 finely diced, 3 thinly sliced)
  • 150 g (¾ cup) long grain rice, washed and drained
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • Greek yoghurt and salad, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with 750 ml (3 cups) water and bring to the boil over medium heat, removing any scum from the surface. Once boiling, add another 500 ml (2 cups) cold water to prevent the lentils splitting, then simmer gently for another 10 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving the liquid.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the rice and drained lentils and cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously to prevent it sticking. Add the salt, cumin and 625 ml (2½ cups) of the reserved liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring regularly, until deeply caramelised. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. To serve, spoon the rice and lentils onto a serving platter, cover with the caramelised onions and serve with yoghurt and a simple salad.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.