Lentils, Rice and Red Onion Salad


Taken by amazing photographer, Stëve (from Peru - click the picture to see his flickr).

I had to put this on my ‘to make salad list’ when the recipe was included with an interview with Terra Kiros on the awesome Who Wants Seconds blog. Plus it’s from Peru… how many recipes do you have which can claim Peruvian ancestry? Imagine eating it on a balcony like this (without the washing – to see the photographer’s amazing blog click here).

This is more or less what they make in Peru: I have just added the yoghurt. The red onion salad gives the lentils such a lift and is also very good served with grilled (broiled) foods. I love this after it has been marinating for a few hours, even overnight, and has taken on a special fuchsia tone. Tessa Kiros

2 red onions, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves (1 chopped, the other left whole)
1 large ripe tomato, peeled and chopped
500g (2 2/3 cups) brown lentils
750g (3 3/4 cups) long-grain rice
juice of  1½ lemons
1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped
150g/5½ oz plain greek yoghurt


Rinse the onions and drain in a fine sieve. Keep about a quarter on one side and put the rest in a bowl. Cover with cold water, sprinkle with the salt and leave for 30 minutes or so.

Heat 3 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan. Add the handful of onion and the chopped garlic and saute until golden. Add the tomato and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the tomato has melted and the water evaporated and you can see the oil actually frying. Remove from the heat and keep aside.

Rinse the lentils and pick out any hard odd bits. Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Drain, then return to the saucepan. Add about 1.5 litres (6 cups) hot water and season with salt. Bring back to the boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the lentils are soft but not mushy and there is not much liquid left. Stir occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the pan. If it seems like the lentils are drying out, add a little more water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add the whole clove of garlic. Add the rice, season with salt, mix through and cook for a minute. Add enough water to come about 3 cm (about an inch) above the top of the rice and bring to the boil, stirring once. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, until a lot of the water seems to have evaporated and there are some holes on the surface. Drizzle with a tablespoon of oil, cover the pan and lower the heat to a minimum. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is dry and steaming, then fluff it up with a fork to make sure it hasn’t stuck to the pan. Remove from the heat and leave the lid on if you are not eatin immediately.

Drain and rinse the soaked onion in a fine sieve. Mix with the lemon juice and chilli and a splash of olive oil and season with salt and a little pepper. Arrange a pile of lentils, a pile of rice, a small pile of onion salad and a dollop of yoghurt on each plate- some people will eat them separately while other like to stir it all together on the plate.

Source: Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros… by way of the amazing Who Wants Seconds blog.


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