Rice, lentils, macaroni, fried onions, chick peas, and a spicy tomato sauce are prepared separately, then spooned in layers on servings plates in this traditional Egyptian dish. The browned onions are my favorite part! The preparation involves several steps and takes quite some time for it all to come together, but is totally worth it especially when you can make it for some dear friends.
Thanks for coming over Hannah and Jordan!
1 can chick peas
1/2 cup brown lentils
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked pasta shells, elbow, or ditalini
(I used mini shells this time)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp vinegar
salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes
1 large onion, chopped
vegetable oil, for frying the onion
1 cup uncooked rice (I use basmati)
2 cups of the reserved lentil water
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt, pepper, cumin
You will use all 4 stove top burners at the same time.
1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and let simmer on med-high until they are cooked, approx 30 minutes. Add more water if it is absorbed. (Step 5 will tell you what to do with the lentils next)
2. Bring another pot of water to a boil. Add a few drops of oil and season with salt. Cook the pasta. Set aside.
3. In a skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add the minced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes till fragrant and browned. Add the vinegar. Add the tomato sauce. Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes as spicy as you want to make the sauce. Set aside.
4. On the last open burner, heat another skillet with a generous amount of vegetable oil. Chop 1 onion and add it to the hot oil. Keep the heat on medium high. Fry onions stirring every few minutes. When they turn golden brown, transfer with a slotted spoon onto a plate with a napkin to drain. Season immediately with salt. (This is the trick that keeps the fried onions crispy)
5. The lentils should be done now. Transfer to a bowl, reserving the water in another bowl. Measure the amount of water scoop it out. You should have 2 cups worth of the lentil water. If not, add water from the faucet whatever amount necessary to equal 2 cups.
6. In a pot, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil and fry the 1/4 cup onions. Add 1 cup uncooked rice. Add 1 tbsp butter. Stir around for a few minutes. Add the 2 cups of reserved lentil water. Season with salt, black pepper, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Once almost all the water is absorbed, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let rice cook. Once cooked, add the cooked lentils from step 1. Stir gently.
7. Open a can of chick peas. Drain and rinse.
To assemble: Serve the lentil rice in a bowl. Top with macaroni, chick peas, tomato sauce, and fried onions.
Source: daliasdelights original