Rinse and soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the lentils, bay leaf, salt and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed.
Discard the bay leaf, add the rice and stir until combined. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.