Rice and Lentil Recipe
Makes a large bowl full
Vietnamese cinnamon is the richest, and sweetest cinnamon around. I adore it! I find it at Penzeys Spices online store. Regular cinnamon will work just fine too!
- 1-1/2 cups of French green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 6 large yellow onions, sliced into very thin half moons
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper or a 1/2 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground Vietnamese cinnamon or regular cinnamon
- 3 dried bay leaves
- Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Olive oil for cooking
- Cooked basmati rice (recipe below)
- Serving Suggestions: Ground Aleppo pepper, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, lemon wedges, ground sumac (found in Middle Eastern stores or online), yogurt and mint sauce (see below), Greek yogurt, light or regular sour cream, fresh parsley, spiced infused tomato sauce (recipe below)
Instructions For the Basmati Rice:
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 1- 1/2 cups of water
- sea salt to taste
Rinse one cup (measured with a dry measuring cup) of basmati rice in several changes of water. I do this in a large bowl. Rub the rice between your fingers to release the starch. Strain the rice and set aside. Heat 1 1/2 cups of water (measured with a liquid measuring cup) in a pot with a tight fitting lid, add some salt and bring to the boil. Add the rinsed and strained rice, bring back to a boil, cover. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting. Simmer, covered, for 15- 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside in the covered pot.
Instructions for the Lentils and Onions:
Yogurt and Mint Sauce
1 teaspoon or more of dried spearmint. I like to use Penzeys brand.http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysmint.html
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
Place the yogurt in a bowl. Add the mint by rubbing it between your fingers as you sprinkle it into the yogurt to release its flavor. Add salt to taste and serve. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Note: You must use dried spearmint in this recipe. It’s used all over the Middle East in salads, tabbouleh etc. Do not use peppermint. Peppermint has a different flavor and is used mostly for candy making and baking.
Spiced Tomato Sauce Recipe
This sauce is scrumptious served over the top of my rice and lentil pilaf for added moisture and tangy tomato flavor.
Pomi Brand tomato product are the best! They come in a box instead of a can. If you can find them, grab them. I find them in my regular supermarket. They’re 100 pure Italian tomatoes with a garden fresh taste. Processed near the fields immediately after harvesting. 100% Natural seedless and ready to use. 100% BPA free. 100% GMO free. No preservatives.
2 small onions, diced
1 26.46 ounce box of Pomi Strained Tomatoes or two 15 ounce cans of best quality tomato sauce.
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Drizzle of honey or a few pinches of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking
In a small pot heat some olive oil and add the onions, salt and pepper. Saute the onions until soft. Once the onions are soft, add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. Toast the spices for about 30 seconds to release their flavor, stirring the entire time. Add the tomatoes, honey and oregano. Adjust the salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes.