Lebanese Maklouta

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A favorite Lebanese soup of ours when we lived in the Middle East was Maklouta with orange lentils and rice. It makes a great weekday meal and here is my version of it. I find it improves the day after you make it as the rice has time to soak in all the flavors of those delicious spices.

You will need:

250g orange lentils
125g rice
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Salt to season if required
1 teaspoon good oil
2 to 4 liters water or stock, depending how thick you want your soup
Parsley, to garnish

You can mix the raw lentils and rice in a pot. Soak for 10 minutes and rinse a couple of times.
In a large pot lightly fry the chopped onion and garlic on low heat stirring constantly until they soften.
Add the coriander, cumin, black pepper and turmeric. Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes. Add 2 liters of water or stock to start with. Keep on low heat and stir occasionally. Do not let it dry out and add more water or stock as it cooks. Simmer for 35 minutes. Add the lemon juice and grated lemon rind. Cook on low heat for another 10 minutes covered. Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and more grated lemon. Season with salt if desired.

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