(CYPRIOT STYLE LENTILS)
SERVES 4 | PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES | COOKING TIME: 45 MINUTES
Most Cypriots will know this traditional dish as faggi. This recipe uses dried lentils, but you can use tinned ones as a cheat; just remember to add the water when you add the rice. This dish goes well with grilled meat, fish, or a salad of tomatoes, onions, and cucumber. INGREDIENTS
265g green or brown lentils
150g basmati rice
850ml cold water
½ a lemon, juiced
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
2 onions, thinly sliced
Sea salt and black pepper
Handful of Kalamata olives (optional)
First, rinse the lentils and rice separately in a sieve under cold running water. Place the washed lentils in a deep pan then add the water, lemon juice and stock powder (this prevents the lentils from turning black and flavours them nicely). Place over a medium heat, bring to the boil and simmer until lentils soften. This should take about 20 minutes but cooking times can vary and the lentils should be just al dente.
In another saucepan, heat the olive oil and gently fry one of the sliced onions with a pinch of salt until pale and soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the washed rice to the softened lentils and cook for a minute over a low heat. Add the sautéed onion then simmer until the rice is cooked and the excess water has evaporated. You may need to add a little water if the rice or lentils need longer to cook.
Season the rice and lentil mixture to taste, then remove the pan from the heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and cover.
Fry the remaining sliced onion in a drizzle of olive oil for 5 minutes on a medium heat, then add the olives and fry for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the onions are crispy.
Place the fakes in a serving dish and garnish with the crispy onions and olives.