This is a wonderful dish you can enjoy as accompaniment to a grilled fish, grilled meat, or simply alone as a main course. This is one of the most popular dish in Egypt. It is healthy, economical, a perfect dish for a crowd.
We often double the recipe so we can have leftover the following day and make a wonderful salad for lunch, adding fresh onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs. Wonderful.

1 1/2 Cup Green Lentils
1 Cup Basmati Rice
50 Gr. Vermicelli noodles, broken in small pieces (4cm each)
40 Gr. Unsalted Butter
1 3/4 Chicken Stock or water
1/2 Teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black pepper
4 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Red Onions, halved and sliced thinly

4 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves crushed
2 Hot Red Chillies, seeded & finely chopped
1 Large can of Chopped Tomatoes
370 Ml. Water
4 Tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar / regular vinegar will also work
2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped.

Firstly, cook the lentils in cold water and 2 bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cook at medium heat for 25 minutes, until cooked, but still “al dente”.
Drain and put aside.
Next, melt the butter and saute the vermicelli until it starts to brown. Add the Basmati rice which has previously been washed in cold water and drained for a few minutes. Saute the rice for a minute, until the grains are coated with butter. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, salt & pepper and mix well.
Add the chicken stock, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a minimum. Cook for 12 minutes. Once cooked, place a tea towel over the lid and place the lid back on. This process helps separate the grains and make the rice fluffier. Add the lentils and mix well. Serve immediately.

To make the sauce, simply saute the garlic in olive oil, add the cumin and mix well. Add the tomatoes and all other ingredients and cook at medium heat for 30 minutes. The sauce is usually quite thick and one you can dunk your Pita in !

Traditionally, the dish is served with fried onions. I usually buy pre-cooked onions in a jar and garnish the dish with a few hand full, at the last minute.
When cooking the rice, you can add a hand full of sultana raisins, apricot pieces, cranberries and sliced almonds. This make for a full meal in itself.

You can double the sauce and serve it the following day as a great dipping sauce for vegetables, toasted pita bread !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: