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Vermicelli and lentil rice

Vermicelli and lentil rice

There are many dishes like this throughout the Middle East. Our recipe was inspired by mujedrah, a Jewish culinary classic from Aleppo in Syria. We suggest using dry lentils instead of the canned version, which will likely turn into a purée when cooked with the rice. 

Serve with mint and garlic yogurt or a good tomato sauce, then garnish with Aleppo pepper, to taste.  


  • 1 cup small, dry lentils 
  • ¾ cup olive oil 
  • 60 gr. wheat vermicelli
  • 4-5 large onions, sliced 
  • 1 cup Turkish rice or parboiled rice
  • 1 Tbsp cumin, ground 
  • 2 tsp Aleppo Seven Spice, ground
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 4 Tbsp butter 


  1. 1

    Cook the lentils in 6 cups of boiling water for 15 minutes to soften. Drain and set the cooking liquid aside.

  2. 2

    Heat a large pan on medium. Add oil and sauté the vermicelli lightly until they become golden. Drain into a colander placed above a bowl to recuperate the oil. Set the vermicelli aside.

  3. 3

    Pour the saved oil and onions into the pan and cook for at least twenty minutes, until the onions are well caramelized (add a bit more oil if needed). Leave one quarter of the onions in the pan and set aside the rest.  

  4. 4

    Add the rice, ground spices and salt to the pan. Mix well and let simmer for 1 minute. Incorporate the vermicelli, lentils and 2 cups of cooking water from the lentils (add more water if necessary).

  5. 5

    Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low heat and cook for twenty minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.