For the rice and lentil layers
1 cup basmati
3/4 cups of green lentils
For the sauce
3 cloves garlic
2 red serrano peppers [deseeded] I prefer to leave them on as I like it hot!
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 and 1/4 cups of whole peeled tomatos and juice [from a can]
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon cumin powder
For the topping of fried onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups of very thinly sliced onions
Salt to taste and some parsley or cilantro for garnish.
Rinse the rice and soak in warm water for at least half an hour. This ensures long elegant grains. Cook the rice with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt according to package directions. Once cooked fluff the rice and spread it on a serving dish. This is the first layer.
Next cook the lentils according to package directions with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Make sure it is cooked al dente.
Puree the garlic, serrano and vinegar in a blender. Set aside. Next add the tomatoes and the juice to the blender, puree and set aside.
Warm a tablespoon of oil and saute the diced onions for a couple of minutes. Then add the cumin powder and stir for a couple of seconds. Then add the garlic, serrano sauce, let it come to a boil and cook off some of the vinegar. Then add the pureed tomatoes, salt to taste and let the sauce cook for a couple of minutes more.
Warm the butter in a broad shallow pan. Wait till the butter turns slightly brown, add the sliced onions, stir to coat all the onions and spread it on the pan. Continue cooking the onions while stirring occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom. The onions will be brown all over and a little soft in about 15 minutes. Now stir the onions less often to allow it to crisp at the bottom but be careful not to let it burn. Watch the onions carefully till they get uniformly crispy. Set aside. You can sprinkle some salt if you want.
Spread a layer rice. Pour some sauce over it. Layer the lentils over the sauce. Spread the caramelized onions all over the dish. Garnish with herbs as you are layering and serve with remaining sauce.
Raising a toast to the people Egypt with my Koshary! May your dreams for your country be realized.
Thanks for dropping by,