This Egyptian dish is full of great taste and texture.

Serves 4

2 1/2 cups basmati rice

250g green or brown lentils, rinsed, drained

3 brown onions

4 tbsp rice bran oil

3-4 green chillies, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

8 tomatoes, peeled, cut into wedges, cores removed

1 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

300g dried casarecce or other small shaped pasta

Mint, hummus and chilli sauce, to serve


Wash rice in a sieve for 2-3 minutes until water runs clear. Heat 5 cups water in a large saucepan until boiling, then add rice. Turn heat off before rice is fully cooked, and cover with a tea towel to absorb any moisture. Leave to steam until tender.

Meanwhile, place lentils in a bowl of water and discard any that float to the top. In another large saucepan add lentils, cover with water and cook for 30 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Cut 2 of the onions in half then into thin slices. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Cook onions for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Roughly chop remaining onion and fry in same frying pan with chillies, garlic, cinnamon and cumin for 2-3 minutes or until onion has softened. Add tomatoes, and after a couple of minutes add tomato paste, vinegar and . cup water. Season. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted boiling water until tender, as per packet instructions. Drain pasta and any remaining water from rice. In a large, shallow serving bowl, layer rice, then lentils and finally pasta. Spoon spiced tomato mixture over pasta, and top with crispy onions.

Top with mint leaves, and serve with hummus and chilli sauce on the side.



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