An idea from Egypt which can be used as a bed for a variety of foods.
Fry the onion in the oil in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan. When it is golden, add the garlic and stir until it has begun to colour. Add the lentils and cover with water. Add cumin and coriander, stir well and cover. Cook on a very low flame, adding salt and pepper when the lentils begin to disintegrate and more water as required, being careful not to let the bottom burn. The lentils disinteg