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Middle Eastern Lentils & Rice
Serves 6 - 8

1 pound (about 2 cups) green or red lentils
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups rice
4-1/2 cups water
About 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Fried onions or yogurt for garnish

Rinse the lentils and soak in water to cover for a least 2 hours.
Drain. (Although there is no need to soak lentils as with beans,
soaking in warm water for several hours or overnight helps to bring
out the lentil's flavor and maintain its shape during cooking.)
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the
onions and saute until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the
rice and saute until well coated, about 1 minute.

Add the lentils, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover,
reduce the heat to low, and simmer until tender and the water is
absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand
covered for 5 minutes. Stir with a fork to fluff. Transfer to a
large serving platter and scatter fried onions over the top or
serve with yogurt.


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