Sephardi Crispy Lentil Rice (Grandma Violet’s Recipe)

Crispy Lentil Sephardi Rice

Crispy Lentil Sephardi Rice

Sephardi Crispy Lentil Rice

Rice is a staple in Sephardi Jewish families, with hundreds of different variations when it comes to the recipe, and often with a thick, crunchy, crispy crust.

I learnt how to make this Crispy Lentil Rice by observing my grandmother (Grandma Violet) in the kitchen on Friday afternoons as she prepares enough food for Friday night dinner to feed a small army, week after week.

From a nutritional standpoint, the addition of lentils provides a boost of protein and fibre (which makes this rice dish more filling). It could be a perfect centrepiece for a meal – just add sliced hard-boiled eggs on top for extra protein – or serve alongside chicken or tofu with a side of salad and Baked Aubergine Stuffed with Tahini or Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower.

This crispy rice is infused with fragrant spices and garnished with toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries and chopped parsley. You can garnish with anything you like – crunchy flaked almonds, juicy sultanas or fresh pomegranate seeds work well too. You can also stir in cooked peeled tomatoes, finely sliced fried onions, any leftover vegetables or leftover chicken/beef into the rice!

Let me know if you make this on Instagram: @elibrechernutrition – I would love to see your creations!

Crispy Lentil Sephardi Rice

Crispy Lentil Sephardi Rice

Sephardi Crispy Lentil Rice


  • 400g basmati rice (washed and soaked in water for 15 minutes)
  • 100g red lentils (washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • 4 cups boiled water
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vegan bouillon stock powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Small pinch black pepper
  • Optional: cooked peeled tomatoes, finely sliced fried onions, any leftover vegetables, leftover chicken/beef, hard-boiled eggs (1 per person) to go on top


  1. Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a rice cooker or a large saucepan. Add the rice, lentils, water and spices (in that order) and cook on a high heat until it starts to bubble (3-5 minutes)⁠.
  2. Put the lid on the pan, cover with a tea towel (not on an open flame!) to ensure no steam escapes and turn the heat down to medium-low.⁠
  3. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until all water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and place a large serving plate over the pan or rice cooker (where the lid would be). Turn plate and pan over together to carefully tip the rice out.⁠
  4. Garnish with chopped pistachios, toasted pine nuts, cranberries and chopped parsley.⁠
  5. Optional: use a wooden spoon to break a few holes in the ‘crust’ of the rice and add hard-boiled eggs into each hole.

If you give this recipe a try, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @elibrechernutrition – I LOVE seeing all your recreations!


If you’re interested in working together to optimise your nutrition and overall wellbeing, please get in contact via Consultations

For more savoury recipe ideas, try these recipes:



Good gut health starts with breakfast!

Begin your day by nourishing your gut with my free 7-day expert guide.

Jam-packed with my deliciously energising recipes to help you unlock your full potential for the rest of the day.