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!

Quick and Easy Celery Rice.

This is a perfect dish for those weekdays you want something that is easy and quick to make, healthy and obviously tasty too. It is also great for the kids to carry for lunch to school.

Celery is rich in antioxidants which makes it easier for the body to fight inflammation, maintain blood pressure and It is low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. I also like its versatility. The stalks are great raw, in a juice, in soup, in stews and the leaves can be used to garnish the soups or blended up and added to the dish. Even drinks; do you prefer a Bloody Mary to a Fiery Mule or a Bloody Caesar? They all use celery.

It has also been purported to boost some male pheromones but hey, lets just focus on the food here...

Did you know celery is one of the amazing vegetables that still retains its nutrients when cooked? Which makes it amazing to add on to stews, soups and rice like we have done here.

For this simple celery rice, you will need:-

  • 1 cup of basmati rice ( cleaned, soaked and drained)
  • I small bunch of celery (cleaned and stalks chopped, Set the leaves aside)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp already deep fried onions (birista)
  • I tsp ghee
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Blend the celery leaves with a bit of water till smooth. Set aside.
Heat your pan, add the ghee. Once hot, add the chopped celery stalks.
Add in the paste and mix well. Add your salt and pepper.
Add in the drained rice and mix in well ensuring all the grains are covered well by the ghee and celery mix.
Add in 2 cups of water, bring to the boil, then cover and let simmer till all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Once ready, add the fried onions and mix in well before serving.

Each spoonful of this rice is a delight. It has the right colour, flavour, texture and nutritional benefit to hold up on its own as a main dish. It is perfect for a packed lunch for the kids on its own ,or with a salad on the side.

What would you prefer to have this dish with?

Also check out my two celery recipes already up on the blog. Here is a simple celery soup to delight your taste buds, and another heartier and delicious version of celery and arrowroot soup here.

Try them out, share your feedback, share with your friends and do not forget to subscribe so you do not miss out on other awesome dishes.