Serves 4


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup split, red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 to 6 hen eggs or 8 to 12 quail eggs, hard-boiled and halved
  • Salad of peppery greens, such as arugula, to serve
  • Salt and black pepper
For the tarragon butter:
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup tarragon, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan; add the onion, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Stir in the garlic and turmeric and cook for a minute or 2 longer, then add the rice and lentils and stir until they are coated with the onion and spice mixture.

Pour in the water and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat, cover and let cook gently for 20 minutes, until the lentils are pale, the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, make the tarragon butter. Beat the butter with a fork until creamy, then stir in the tarragon. Form into a log shape on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil and refrigerate as long as required.

Using a fork, gently stir the lemon juice into the rice—this will brighten the color instantly—and season with salt and black pepper. Turn the mixture into a warmed, shallow serving dish or onto individual plates and top with pieces of tarragon butter and the cooked eggs. Serve at once with a salad of peppery greens, such as arugula.

From The Best of Rose Elliot: The Ultimate Vegetarian Collection by Rose Elliot, Hamlyn 2013. Photo by Gus Filgate and Jason Lowe.


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