Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions

Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions

Arroz con Lentejas
6 to 8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: caramelized onions, lentils, Mahatma Rice, Mexico, pati’s mexican table, rice
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 9, Episode 6 "Sonoran Family Favorites for Sami"


  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large white onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups Mahatma® Rice jasmine white rice, or extra long white rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 5 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

To Prepare

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water with the bay leaves to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium, cover partially with a lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are just cooked and tender but not mushy or falling apart. Drain, remove the bay leaves and set aside.
  • In a large wide casserole or heavy sauté pan that has a tight fitting lid, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. The onions will first soften and become translucent and then they will brown, which is what you want. Stir and make room in the middle, add the remaining olive oil, and add the rice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, gently stirring with the browned onions. The rice will quickly change from a grayish white to a bright white color and feel heavier in the spoon. Don’t let it brown. Make room in the middle once again, and add the cooked lentils, cumin, oregano, ground ancho chile, turmeric, coriander and salt, and stir well. Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until most or all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove the lid and check to see that the rice is cooked. If it is, fluff with a fork, and serve. If it is still a bit al dente, add a couple of more tablespoons of water, cook for a few more minutes, and test.
  • Taste and adjust salt, and serve.

2 comments on “Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions

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  1. I don’t know why it took so long for me to make this. Both my husband and myself couldn’t stop eating it. We Love It!