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Caramelized Onion and Lentil Pilaf

 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
 1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
 1 teaspoon ground cumin
 1 teaspoon ground coriander
 2 cloves
 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
 4 dried curry leaves, optional
 2 teaspoons salt
 Freshly ground black pepper
 1 cup French green lentils
 1 cup basmati rice.

1. In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add onion slices,
and sauté until softened and deep golden brown. Remove half the onions and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add turmeric, cumin, coriander, cloves, mustard
seeds and curry leaves. Add salt, and season with black pepper to taste.

3. Combine lentils and rice in a fine-meshed sieve, and rinse well with cold water.
Drain, then add to pan. Add 4 cups water, raise heat, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce
heat to very low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Water should be completely absorbed;
if not, remove pan from heat, remove lid and cover pan with a kitchen towel, then
replace lid and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

4. To serve, fluff pilaf with a fork, and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with
reserved onions.