This is a rice and lentil dish with caramelised onions you will find all over the Middle East with different names. Serve with a simple yoghurt and mint sauce. It can also be made vegetarian if you substitute the chicken stock.
First make the onions. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Fry the onion rings until they soften and separate, stirring often. Continue to cook, stirring, until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the lentils:
In a pot over medium heat, melt the butter and sweat the garlic and onions until soft. Add the bay leaves, lemon zest, allspice, salt and pepper. Add the rice and cover with chicken stock. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and cover the pot. Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, put the lentils in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils.
When the rice is cooked, combine it with the raw lentils and add the caramelised onions. Season again with salt, pepper and allspice to taste.