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Thinly slice 1 small sweet or white onion (about 2 cups). Pit 4 Medjool dates, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Let 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter sit at room temperature to soften.
Place 1 cup basmati rice in a fine-mesh strainer and run under cold running water, using your hands to agitate it to remove excess starch, until the water runs clear, about 1 minute. Place the rice into a 3-quart nonstick saucepan, then pour 2 cups hot tap water over the rice. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, wash 1 cup dried brown lentils in the same strainer.
When the water comes to a boil, add the lentils and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to maintain an active simmer with small bubbles across the surface. Simmer uncovered until the water is mostly gone and the rice is just tender with a still-hard inside, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap the lid of the saucepan with a clean dish towel and secure it on top with a rubber band or hair elastic, kind of like a top knot, so that the ends don’t drape over.
Cover the pot with the dish-towel-covered lid, pressing down firmly so no steam escapes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the lentils are tender, the rice is fluffy, and a crispy tahdig (rice crust) has formed on the bottom, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the onions.
Heat a large cast-iron or heavy-weight skillet over medium-high heat until very hot and lightly smoking, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the onions and a pinch of kosher salt, and allow them to release some of their liquid. Continue to cook, stirring at 1-minute intervals, until they become translucent and just start to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned at the edges, about 6 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the dates and 1 cup raisins, and cook until the raisins plump and the dates brighten in color, about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt, then remove from the heat until the rice is ready.
After the rice has cooked for about 10 minutes under the towel-covered lid, scoop out 2 cups from the top of the pot, leaving the bottom untouched, and place in a medium bowl. Add half of the date and onion mixture and stir to combine — this is what you will stuff the turkey with.
Add remaining fruit and onion mixture to the remaining rice in the pot. Carefully stir it in without disturbing the bottom layer of rice. Cover with the towel-lined lid again and cook over low heat for 30 minutes more.
After the rice has cooked for about 10 minutes under the towel-covered lid, add all of the fruit and onion mixture to the rice. Carefully stir it in without disturbing the bottom layer of rice. Cover with the towel-lined lid again and cook over low heat for 30 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat. Place the ghee or butter on top of the rice. Gently shake the pot: if the rice doesn’t easily release or it looks a little stuck, use a rubber spatula to loosen the sides of it from the pan. Invert a large plate over the pot. Use 2 oven mitts or dish towels to securely hold onto both the pot and the plate. Take a deep breath, then invert the dish so that the pot now rests on top of the plate. Carefully shimmy the pot off by holding on to only the handles of the pot, and release the tahdig and rice onto the plate.