Known as 'Adas Polow' this is a wonderful Persian rice and lentils dish is cooked in a saucpan that is layered rice, lentils then rice, the cooking method creates a crusty rice layer at the bottom which is served with the dish.
500g uncooked white rice
1 litre water, or as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (500ml) water, or more as needed
1 pinch salt, to taste
2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil, divided
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/3 cup (75ml) hot water
3/4 cup pitted, diced dates
3/4 cup sultanas
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Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Soak the rice for about 3 hours then drain off the water. Bring the rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 litre water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is partially cooked; about 10 minutes. Drain the liquid from the rice and set the rice aside.
Bring 2 more cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan and stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil then cook over medium heat until tender; 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large frypan over medium heat and fry the onions, stirring frequently until golden brown; about 20 minutes. Set the onions aside.
Dissolve the saffron in 1/3 cup of hot water and set aside.
In a large non-stick saucepan with deep sides heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering then spoon in half the rice to cover the bottom of the saucepan.
Top the rice with the lentils and cover the lentils with the remaining rice. Reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan and cook until the rice is completely tender and there is a golden brown, crusty layer of rice on the bottom of the saucepan; about 20 minutes.
Pour the saffron water over the rice and lentils then cover and allow to cook until absorbed; about 10 more minutes.
To serve spoon the rice and lentils into a serving dish then peel off and place pieces of the crusty rice layer on the top. Decorate with dates, sultanas and fried onions.