Want an easy comforting weekday dinner in a bowl? This simple brown rice and lentil pilaf is perfect for that. Also makes great leftovers so make sure you make enough for dinner and lunch!
These days I’m all about simple, one pot or maximum two pot dishes because well I actually only have two cooking pots (+ one small skillet and a baking tray) with me. If you followed me through last few posts, we’ve recently moved from Romania to America and it will take another month for our shipment from Romania to arrive. Till then, a friend has lent me some basic cooking supplies so that we don’t have to unnecessarily buy everything.
Coming back to one pot cooking. Actually, while right now I am limited to it, I normally prefer one-pot dishes, especially for weekday dinners. This pilaf also makes a great lunch box meal so it’s perfect to cook for two meals all at once!
What can you use for rice & lentil pilaf?
In this pilaf recipe, I’ve used brown rice and brown lentils. Both brown rice and brown lentils have a bite after being cooked and are not so soft, making them perfect for pilaf and stir-fry recipes. You can use any lentil with skin like green whole moong dal or horse gram. These lentils retain their shape after cooking as opposed to yellow or red lentils that become very soft and so wouldn’t go well for a pilaf. Yellow or red lentils will be good to cook with rice to make khichdi.
For vegetables, I’ve added spring onions, tomatoes, and sweet potato to the rice and lentils. You can add as many or as little seasonal vegetables. You can also roast vegetables separately and serve on side.
I hope you like this recipe. Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below. It will really encourage me!
Brown rice and Lentil Pilaf
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 cup brown rice washed and soaked for at least 30 mins
- ½ cup brown lentils washed and soaked for at least 30 mins
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chili chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- ½ inch ginger chopped
- 3-4 sprigs spring onion chopped (green and white part separated)
- 1 cup sweet potato cut into cubes
- 1 small tomato chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp black pepper powder optional
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a deep pot. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, green chili, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for a minute.
- Add the white of spring onion bulbs and chopped sweet potato. Sprinkle some salt, mix well and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, spring onion greens (reserve some for garnish lateand all the remaining spices. Mix and cook for a minute.
- Drain the rice and lentils. Add to the pot. Mix and then add 4 cups of water.
- Cover and cook for about 15-20 mins on low-medium heat till the water is absorbed and the rice and lentils are soft. Open and check in between after every 5 mins to see that the water is not over and the rice is not sticking. If you feel the water is finishing up and the rice is still uncooked, add a little more.
- Remove into bowls, sprinkle some raw spring onion greens and enjoy warm.
- For variations, use different kinds of lentils or even a combination of lentils.
- Vary the vegetables with season and choice.
- Nutritional Information is approximate information for 1 of 4 servings.
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