Lentils and rice -- possibly the most perfect combination of legume and grain -- can be the base for many creative dishes. Together, they provide the carbohydrate and fiber that are essential to a balanced meal. I've also come to appreciate the two together because they provide contrasting textures that make the dish more interesting. The biggest problem with cooking lentils and rice together is the timing -- rice gets cooked more quickly than lentils. So if you try to cook them together, you'll either get mushy rice or tough lentils. After testing the recipe a few times, I think I've got the solution to this problem.
To make this curried lentils and rice, you'll need --
- 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 3/4 cup brown Basmati rice, rinsed
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- salt and pepper to taste
How to dress up this curried lentils and rice is totally up to you. I topped my curried lentils and rice with chopped pineapple, jalapeno peppers, mint, parsley, peanuts and baked tofu. Then I drizzled everything with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, minced garlic, jalapeno, and shallots. I like the combination of sweet, spicy, salty, and sour -- all the taste buds are fired up and having a good time.