Almost Turkish Recipes

Rice with Lentils (Mercimekli Pilav)

This is a recipe that I and my collage roommates made and enjoyed a lot of times in our dorm kitchen. This was the tastiest thing we cooked.

1 1/2 cup white rice
1/2 cup green lentils
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil or butter
3 cups of water

-Boil lentils with 3 cups of water on medium for 20-30 minutes or until they're cooked. Be careful not to overcook them. You don't want them mushy. When they're cooked, rinse them well and set aside.
-Put oil in a pot and stir onions for 10 minutes.
-Add rice and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes until rice turns into a translucent color. [I used 1 1/2 cups of rice, but you can use as much as you want. Just do not forget that the ratio of rice to water is always 1 to 2]
-Add water and salt. Bring to a boil then turn it to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in lentils and cover again. Cook on low until rice soaks all the water (approximately 20 minutes).
-Turn it off and cover the top of the pot with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Place the lid on paper towel and let rice sit for at least 10 minutes before you serve.
-Try it with yogurt.


  1. This is very similar to a dish called mjedere, which I just learned how to make from a Lebanese cook. Rice and lentils are such a simple combination, but together they are magic.

  2. Lydia, I didn't know that this recipe is like mjdere, but I'm not surprised; there are a lot of similar dishes that Turkish cuisine shares with Lebanese cuisine. And I definitely agree with you that the combination of lentils and rice is simple yet delicious.

  3. I really like this dish.If you check out my blog you'll see a simular recipe with more spices...

  4. Anonymous10:31 AM

    That looks so good. Sometimes the simple dishes are the most comforting and delicious.

  5. I am definitely going to try this rice recipe today ))