Friday, November 2, 2012


One of those modest simple classics,  no wonder I use this so often for shabbat dinners.

When I make this I know that atleast I have the starch part of the meal out of the way, easily and quickly.  I still get to go to the beach on the afternoon before the evening meal.  That's how easy this dish is!

Like all dishes with simple few ingredients there are so many variants depending on mood and person.

Spices are usually Turmeric, Cumin, then the rest is your choice, my holy trinity here is Turmeric, Cumin, ground Coriander seeds, I've seen cinnamon, cardamon, paprika added too. It really is your choice.

The basic recipe

Onions chopped
Garlic chopped (optional)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Coriander leaves for garnish
Black Lentils (soaked overnight) 1/2 cup
Rice 1cup (uncooked rice) I use jasmine
Water 1cup BOILING
Spices: Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander seeds grounded - or what ever you have and like, no rules here

Heat splash of olive oil and fry onions and garlic till soft.
Add spices (ie turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seeds) and toast spices.
Add soaked lentils. Stir well
Add salt
Add raw rice.  Stir well so all is coated
Add BOILING water, make sure all the rice is covered. Cover with lid.
Place on low heat for 30 mins.
After 30 minutes all the water should have been absorbed.
Do not raise lid if possible
Close heat and let to stand

* Note: I try to always have a stash of post-soaked lentils in the freezer, that way I can just take out, thaw (if no time to thaw just throw in the pan and cook from frozen) I make this dish when ever I need something fast, tasty and good-looking.  This dish really is a life saver when unexpected vegetarian friends jump over or after a busy day at work or on the beach, this simply gets the carbs on the menu sorted, and out of the way.  Often I make a quiche to go with , served with a sauce such as tzatziki or tehina along side a simple salad.
Voila suppers on the table!

If you use other types of rice such as Basmati or Perisan please let me know what water/rice ratio you use.  Thanks

Another cooking option is to bake, this eliminates any chance of burning the bottom of the pan also from burning the rice.

Bake in pre-heated oven 180c till rice is light and fluffy, about 30 mins.

Option 1:  Toast nuts/seeds such as sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on top, dust with red paprika and corriander leaves for maximum effect and serve.

Option 2:  Fry thin julienne cuts of fresh ginger and sprinkle on top, serve.

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