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The traditional Middle Eastern combination of lentils and rice flavoured with shallots and fragrant spices makes a well balanced meal when accompanied by a green vegetable or salad.
- Paritally cook the lentils in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1tbs of the oilive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the shallots from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the lentils to the skillet and stir in the cumin, coriander, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Add the rice and water, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender and the rice is cooked, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes while you finish cooking the reserved shallots.
- Heat the remaining 1 tbs of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the reserved shallots and cook until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Place the rice and lentil mixture in a large serving bowl and top with the crisp shallots. Serve hot.