Meatless Monday: One pot Lentils and Rice.

This dish is a basic easy to make but oh so tasty lentil pilau. It is also known as mujadara in some parts of the world.

It is a vegetarian and gluten free meal that works well for an quick evening meal and kid’s lunch box the next day. It is so simple to put together, tasty and inexpensive, perfect for a weeknight meal and since it is one pot, not much cleaning up after. Yay!

Ingredients are:-

  1. 3 large onions, sliced.
  2. 2 tbsp of birista. These are fried onions like the ones we use for biriani. I usually make a lot then freeze and use in various dishes or as a snack.
  3. 1 cup basmati rice.
  4. 2 cups parboiled brown lentils (masoor dal).
  5. salt and pepper to taste.
  6. 1 tbsp cooking oil.
  7. 1 small bunch of coriander.

Method.

Sort then boil your lentils until ready but still firm.

Next, slice your onions and heat your oil in a large saucepan that will be big enough for your dish.

Fry the onions until soft and caramelised then stir in the coriander stalks too.
Add the rice and mix well till all the grains are covered with the oil mixture, then add the lentils and your seasoning.
Add two cups of water, let the dish simmer till ready.

I use basmati rice and use a 1:2 ratio at all times; 1 cup of rice will require 2 cups of water, cover and let simmer till all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender but not mushy.

The onions give the dish a lovely flavour, colour and aroma.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and 1 tbsp of the birista and fold carefully before serving.

You can now serve it as it is on its own, or with a yogurt sauce on the side, or with a salad or any other accompaniment you wish.

However you serve it, do not forget to garnish with the rest of the fried onions. The crunch goes so well with the sweetness of the caramelised onions and the lentils and rice will have absorbed the flavours too.

We had it here with some beef balls in mushroom sauce.
Personally, I like it best like this, with the birista as a topping on the rice.

I love the differences in flavour of the onions that are nothing you would expect. The caramelized onions are sweet having released their sugars, and soft. And the fried ones are crispy with a deeper flavour, nothing like the tanginess we associate with red onion.

This is a simple but very tasty meal that is filling and healthy too. It is one of my favorite rice dishes to make and the kids love it too.

Try it and enjoy!

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