Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lebanese Lentils and Whole Grains

Here is another recipe sent my way from my friend Jill sent my way! I always get excited when she sends me recipes, cause she is one of few who eats crazy ethnic food like me. :)  I do not lie when I tell you I ate 3 helpings of this! THREE! It is just so good! The presentation may not look the prettiest...lets be honest, Lentils rarely look pretty.....but Holy cow is it amazing! I tweaked very little on this recipe. I of course added a slight bit more cumin cause it's my fav, knocked back the oil and I was out of Cinnamon. The recipe called for a Cinnamon stick, but I didn't have that or ground so I left it out. If you have it, throw in a Cinnamon stick when you put in the cumin seeds. Gotta try this one guys it's an AWESOME meat free!


1 cup brown or green lentils sorted for debris and rinsed
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3/4 cup Himalayan whole grains
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ C Pine nuts
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Greek yogurt, for serving, optional


Place the lentils into a medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, heat oil in a large skillet. Allow the oil to warm for a minute, then drop in the cumin seeds and cracked peppercorns and cook, shaking the pan once in a while until the cumin seeds darken slightly, about 1 minute.

Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. (Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan.) You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color.
Remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate (These are to top your meal later.) Sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and saute about 1 minute.

Add the whole grains and cook, stirring often until some grains start to brown. Quickly, add the cooked lentils, 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low so that the pan is at a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes. The water should be completely evaporated and grains should be tender. (If there's still too much water in the bottom, put the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes.)

Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and allow the grains to steam undisturbed for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts using, in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking often, until lightly browned.

Serve with the reserved caramelized onions, toasted pine nuts, if using, and a little squeeze of lemon juice and a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt.


  1. Woo-hoo! I got a blog shout out! :)

  2. I have yet to make lentils. Found your recipe through pinterest and pinned it! Those red onions and pine nuts piled on top make this look delicious :)

  3. Thank you! This is a really great recipe for you to try em out! They aren't overly beany tasting and it has great flavor!