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  • Becky M


Updated: Feb 3, 2023

A popular Indian red lentil rice dish among the Iraqi Jews. I learned how to make this savory recipe from my mother-in-law, Nina (pictured above). I dramatically reduced the amount of butter from the original recipe, but other than that, the authenticity is true of taste! For variety, I like to replace rice with quinoa and surprisingly it is similar in texture and taste! Kechree is a satisfying vegetarian meal, given that red lentils are loaded with protein and additionally when eaten with plain Greek yogurt on the side. Grilled vegetables, fish or schnitzel are known in our house to accompany kechree, but we are always satisfied with kechree as our main course!

Serves 8-10

Main Ingredients

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

2¾ cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil, ghee or butter, as desired

salt, to taste

3-4 tablespoons tomato paste (6oz. can)

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon cumin

2 onions, sliced in rings


1. Boil water and salt in a large pot, then add tomato paste and 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter to the pot.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together uncooked rice and lentil beans. Rinse and drain under cold water several times to remove unwanted starch. When the water begin to look clear the mixture is ready.

3. Add the rice and lentil mixture to the boiling water. Cover and continue to boil until all liquid has been absorbed.

4. Add remaining olive oil or butter to rice. Wrap a kitchen towel around the lid, cover, and continue to steam rice over very low heat for 30-45 minutes.

5. In a small frying pan, add a small amount of olive oil, heat and add garlic to pan. Constantly turn garlic for one minute until it turns a golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in cumin. Combine garlic/cumin mixture into the rice/lentil mixture.

6. In a medium frying pan, fry sliced onions on a low heat in olive oil until browned. Just before serving, mix the onions into the rice.

7. Best enjoyed with Greek yogurt.

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