Recipe Corner: Lentil Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Golden Raisins


By Christine Datian Vartanian


1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils, rinsed

1 cup long grain white rice

1 cup chopped onions

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

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2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 cups low sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black or white pepper

1/2 cup each slivered almonds and golden raisins (chopped dates or dried apricots may be substituted)

2-3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Unsalted butter

Olive oil

Armenian or Greek yogurt, lemon wedges (garnish)



In a small pan, toss the almonds and raisins together in a tablespoon of melted butter until the almonds are lightly browned; set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or butter, stirring occasionally until the onions are browned. Add the broth, lentils, rice, bay leaf, and lemon juice and bring to a full boil. Add the spices and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 35-40 minutes or until rice and lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed.

Remove the bay leaf, fluff pilaf with a fork, and add the parsley. Cover pan and let stand 5 more minutes before serving.

Top pilaf with the almonds and golden raisins and serve with yogurt and lemon wedges on the side.

Serves 4-6.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at

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