Crispy Rice Bowl

This recipe was inspired by tah dig, a Persian rice dish with a golden crust and beautiful balance of textures. I wanted to develop a quicker, simpler version of the rice in this dish and add some new elements for more depth of flavor and freshness.

The result includes lentils braised with golden raisins for a little sweetness, plus yogurt sauce with a hint of spice from the horseradish. This crispy rice bowl is easy to assemble and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner – I especially love it with a poached or sunny-side up egg on the top. 

Crispy Rice Bowls With Pickled Red Onion and Yogurt Sauce

Serves | 4 to 6 |


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 cups beluga lentils
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp crushed red chile flakes
  • 7 cups water


  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pickled Red Onion

  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • ¹⁄₃ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds

Yogurt Sauce

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 7 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 Persian cucumber, grated
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish


  • 6 Persian cucumbers, large dice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp crushed red chile flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

| Preparation – Lentils | In a medium saucepot over medium heat, heat oil. Sauté onion for 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; simmer for 40 minutes and remove from heat.

| Preparation – Rice | In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cook 10 minutes; set aside.

| Preparation – Pickled Red Onion | In a canning jar, add onions. In a small saucepot over medium heat, heat remaining ingredients until sugar and salt dissolve. Pour mixture over onions and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

| Preparation – Yogurt Sauce | In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside.

| Preparation – Cucumbers | In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside.

| To Serve | Divide rice among 4 to 6 serving bowls and top each with equal portions of pickled red onion, yogurt sauce, cucumbers and lentils. Serve.

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Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website, where she shares recipes centered on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel.

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