Brown Lentils and Rice with Roasted Onions and Spicy Baked Tortilla Chips

Brown Lentils and Rice with Roasted Onions and Spicy Baked Tortilla Chips

If I ever appear to be making fun of vegans, let me reassure my vegan friends and readers that it is only in the same gentle and slightly perplexed spirit with which my carnivore friends tease me. I'm not all about the eggs and cheese, you see, and I'm never one to complain about a good vegan meal, as much as my meat-eating friends enjoy my own vegetarian cooking.

But I must say that after picking up a copy of Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero for its wide assortment of unique and appealing vegan recipes, the first recipe I tried out turned to be so full of glaring errors and omissions that my first thought was that the authors weren't getting enough nutrients to the brain. Ah well, there's no missing or duplicated steps or ingredients that a little imagination and innovation can't take care of, and this simple and satisfying lentil and rice dish with sweet roasted onions turned out to be a real delight for lunch, even if it required a substantial re-write.

The added bonus for me was the suggestion of serving it with spiced pita crisps, which I did not discover until after having already decided to make it. What a glorious coincidence that I still happened to have plenty of my spicy baked tortilla chips left over from the day before, turning an already tasty rice-and-lentil lunch into an incredible combination of flavors and textures. Do try making both.

Brown Lentils and Rice with Roasted Onions and Spicy Baked Tortilla Chips Brown Lentils and Rice with Roasted Onions and Spicy Baked Tortilla Chips
Recipe by
Adapted from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Published on July 10, 2008

A simple and earthy seasoned rice and lentil dish with roasted onions — a great side dish or light lunch

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 55 to 60 minutes

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  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 lbs (900 g) yellow onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 3-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried whole red chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • Rinse the rice and lentils separately under cold running water. Soak the lentils under cold water in a bowl and let the rice air dry in a fine-meshed strainer.

  • Preheat an oven to 400°F. Separate the onion rings into a large baking pan and toss with the olive oil. Roast in the oven, stirring frequently, until the onions are a deep brown. It is quite alright to let some of the smaller rings blacken at the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Toss in the rice along with the cinnamon stick, red chilies, and ground cloves. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes without disturbing.

  • Drain the lentils and add to the rice along with the allspice and cumin. Stir in gently. Cover again and continue to cook at low heat until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Remove the cinnamon stick and chilies. Fluff the lentils and rice with a fork and fold in the onion rings with their roasting oil.

  • Serve warm or at room temperature with spicy baked tortilla chips placed around the edge of the plates.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Brown Lentils and Rice with Roasted Onions and Spicy Baked Tortilla Chips


eatme_delicious said...

Yum this looks good, especially the roasted onions! Great idea to add the pita chips. What kind of errors did you find? I've made a few recipes from that cookbook and they've turned out okay.

Anonymous said...

I've found V'con to be uneven as well. Some of the recipes are fabulous (like the roasted garlic Caesar), whereas others. . . well, I've had the same experience as you. Glad this turned out so well in the end, though!

Anonymous said...

Hi I am new to your blog and I just wanted to say how much I’m loving it

Ivy said...

We eat this dish at least once a week as we make a similar dish in Cyprus. The only difference is that we use carolina rice (which is like arborio) and do not add all the spices.

Lucy said...

With those spicy tortilla chips, what an excellent combination.

I confess, I've only attempted 2 recipes from the book so far (a marinade for tempeh and the Greek lemon-y potatoes). Shall proceed with caution as I venture further in...

Johanna GGG said...

great combination - I have heard uneven comments about veganomicon and haven't made the plunge yet - but am always tempted by roasted veg of any kind!

Laura Paterson said...

Mmmm, this does look good, esp with the tortilla bakes.

Chef Jeena said...

This looks so wholesome and delicious. I love your recipes, I bet when your family and friends visit you Lisa that they have a fantastic huge vegetarian feast.

winedeb said...

What a very interesting recipe! Usually with chips there are tomatoes involved so I am very happy to see another way to use those chips! Looks fantastic!
Happy summer to you:)

TBC said...

I like sweet roasted onions.:D Sometimes I make a chutney out of it and have it with dosas(South Indian style pancakes).
I like how you have served it with the spicy tortilla chips.

test it comm said...

I really like the sound of roasting onions in the oven. This sounds tasty!