VIBRANTLY VEGAN: Vegan food is about so much more than leaves, legumes and lentils. Newcomer home cook Lynn Marie shares how she makes delicious, vegan and plant based midweek family favourites packed with flavour.
What’s more the ingredients are made up of lots of store cupboard staples which means they are ready in no time and can be frozen ahead for busy week nights. Lebanese Rice with Lentils recipe.

Serves 6

Prep time 50 minutes


1 cup brown or green lentils
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. freshly grated black pepper
2 large or 3 medium onions sliced
½ tsp. cayenne powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
¾ cup basmati rice
3 cups boiling water
1 ½ tsp. salt


Rinse the lentils, place them in a pot and cover with several inches of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are cooked but not mushy. Once done, drain and rinse.
Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan, heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil and add the cumin seeds and pepper. Fry for one minute until the seeds start to crackle and release their fragrance. Add the sliced onions, season slightly and stir occasionally for around 10 minutes for the onions to soften and become translucent. Remove some of the onions and set aside to be used later as garnish.

Add in the cayenne, ground cumin and cinnamon stick and sauté for a minute. Insert the rice and stir to coat in oil. Add the drained lentils, boiling water and salt. Cover with a lid and cook for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. The dish is ready once the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

To serve, garnish with the reserved onion and top with toasted pine nuts, black sesame seeds and a dollop of yoghurt.

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Toasted pine nuts
Black sesame seeds
Plain or Greek yoghurt