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Tomato pilaf with black lentils + caramelised onion

This delicious and nutritious almost-one-pan-meal was inspired by Turkish tomato pilaf and Mujadara, a tasty combination of rice, lentils and onions found throughout the Middle East. 

Serves 4, Gluten-free | Vegan

  • 115g (½ cup) black (beluga)
  • lentils, rinsed well
  • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g tomatoes (I like to use
  • cherry), finely chopped
  • 340g (1²⁄³ cups) white basmati
  • rice, rinsed and drained well
  • 750ml (3 cups) water
  • coriander leaves,
  • roughly chopped, to serve
  • Caramelised onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • fine salt, to taste


  • Place lentils into a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, before adding chopped tomato. Cook, stirring often, for 3–4 minutes, or until soft and juicy. Add rice and stir then add water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside with the lid on for a further 10 minutes.
  • To make the caramelised onions, as soon as your rice is happily cooking away, heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, for 20–25 minutes or until deeply golden, taking care in the final 5–10 minutes to ensure the bottom doesn’t catch and burn. Season with salt. These can be prepared in advance and will store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • When the rice is cooked, remove the lid, stir through lentils, adjust seasoning if needed and serve topped with caramelised onions and chopped coriander.

Recipes extracted from Every Day by Emma Galloway published by HarperCollins NZ, RRP $60

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