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Rice and Lentils with Onion Tarka

4 to 6 Servings
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To create this soul-satisfying dish, we took inspiration from the Indian rice and lentil dish known as kitchari. We finish our version with onion tarka, which features spices that are bloomed in hot oil to release their fragrance and flavor. Tarka typically is made with whole spices; we call for a cinnamon stick, cloves and cumin seeds, but feel free to mix and match the seasonings depending on what’s in your pantry. Take the time to first soak the rice and lentils in salted water, as this helps them to cook up light and separate.


  • 1

    cup long-grain white rice, preferably basmati rice

  • cup red lentils OR brown lentils OR yellow split peas


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Christina L.
January 17, 2023
Great flavor complexity!
Was looking for something to do with basic ingredients that wasn’t too bland. This recipe knocked it out of the park! Superb complexity of flavor. I ended up using a few chopped cashews and dried cherries as garnish. I did not expect to turn out a dish with as much layered depth as rice dishes at my favorite Indian restaurant. Definitely going to make this part of my repertoire.