Red Split Lentils with Pasta (Rishtayeh) عدس رشتاية


Rishtayeh is an old traditional dish. Although it is not very popular in the Palestinian cuisine nor the Middle Eastern one as many other dishes,  it certainly is in our household. When my mom cooks this dish she makes a huge pot and invites all her children and their families. She also shares it with the neighbors who are anxiously delighted to receive some. My mom often makes it during lent while everyone is abstaining from eating dairy and meat.

The dish is simple and easy to prepare. The main ingredients are red split lentils and pasta. Back in the old days’ different shapes of pasta were not available, so my mom used to make a squarely shaped dough from scratch specifically for this dish. However, nowadays it’s available in pasta, so it’s ready to go. I was able to find this type of pasta at Trader Joe’s (pictured below), it just needs to be broken into small squares prior to cooking.


So here is how I make this dish. First slice onions and fry them in olive oil and set aside. Onions will be used later to place over the dish prior to serving.

Meanwhile, rinse lentils and cover them with boiled water, lentils won’t take much time to cook so once they start boiling add salt, cumin, turmeric, and pasta. Mix everything together and lower heat to medium. Continue with occasional stirring for 10-15 minutes and until lentils and pasta have softened and water has dried out.

Pour whatever little olive oil left from fried onions over the pot and stir one more time. At this point, the mixture will look pastier. Pour hot lentils and pasta mix into plates or small containers. Decorate with parsley, onions with sumac, and fried onions. Serve in a room temperature.


  • 1 cup split lentils
  • 3/4 cup pasta
  • 4 cups boiled water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

For garnish:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 small onion (red or yellow)
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • handful of parsley


  1. Add chopped onions to heated olive oil, continue with occasional stirring and until onions are fried.
  2. Rinse lentils and cover with boiled water and let it boil for 2 minutes
  3. Add salt, cumin, and turmeric.
  4. Add squarely chopped pasta over the mix and stir together, lower heat and let it simmer.
  5. Pour whatever little olive oil left from fried onions over the pot and stir one more time.
  6. Keep frequent stirring for another 10-15 minutes and until the pasta has softened and the mix looks pasty.
  7. Pour into serving plates.
  8. Decorate plates with parsley, onion with sumac, and fried onions.
  9. Serve in a room temperature.








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