Hi all, it's been a while since my last post, but I think this lentil rice recipe will make up for it. I discovered this lentil rice when I went over to a friend's house and her mom cooked this delicious rice. It is full of protein and taste, and you can eat it with a bunch of different accompaniments, such as stew, salad, or some meat analogue. It seems complicated at first but it is really simple. Just make a big pot of it and then you don't have to worry about making more for a while, just reheat and serve. It reheats pretty well.
Here's the recipe:
Persian Lentil Rice
1 1/2 cup (dry) Basmati rice
1 cup (dry) brown lentils
1/2 tbsp turmeric
salt to taste
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon Persian saffron
3 medium Russet potatoes
lightly toasted almonds, sliced (optional)
dried cranberries (optional)
Salt and cook Basmati rice halfway until the grain is al dente (you don't want it cooked all the way since it will continue to cook later). Once it is al dente, drain the hot liquid and rinse the rice with cold water until the rice stops cooking. Do the same thing for the lentils, i.e. salt and boil them halfway till they're al dente, drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.
Peel potatoes and slice into thin slices. Set aside. Using medium heat, saute onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the onion becomes translucent. Add raisins and saute mixture until onions turn a golden brown ... you want the onions to be sweet and the raisins will plump up a bit. Set mixture aside.
In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven, drizzle bottom of pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then dust the oiled bottom of the pan with the turmeric. Layer sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan making sure that the entire bottom is covered with potato. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the potatoes.
Next, spoon 1/2 of the basmati rice over the potatoes. Dust the rice with 1/2 tablespoon of the Persian saffron. Sprinkle 1/2 of the lentils ion top of the rice. Sprinkle 1/2 of the onion/raisin mixture on top of the lentils. Next, you make another layer of the potato, olive oil, rice, saffron, lentils and onions/raisins as outlined above.
Cook the lentil rice on medium-low for about 10 minutes, covered, till it gets a bit steamy, then lower the heat to low for about 35-45 more minutes until the lentils and potatoes are tender.
Serve the lentil rice garnished with sliced almonds and dried cranberries.
A Word About Lentils
Lentils come in many different shapes and sizes and will provide the centerpiece for some varied and delicious dishes. I use brown lentils in this recipe and for lentil stew. I also use small red lentils to make indian dal and French puy lentils to make delicious hot and cold salads.
In addition, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare and readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings.
Nutritionally, lentils are full of fiber, lower coronary heart disease risk, stabilize blood sugar and replenish iron stores and give you energy.
Enjoy your lentils!