Infused with the flavours of garlic, cumin and the sweetness of caramelised onions, my Lentils and Rice dish is simple, healthy and super tasty!! My special tip is to use chicken stock for a more intense flavour!!
Either medium grain or long grain rice will work beautifully in this dish. Medium grain rice is plumper than long-grain, and has a softer, slightly stickier texture after cooking (not sticky rice sticky).
The grains of long grain rice separate and fluff up more, so if you like that look, then long grain is for you! Just so you know, l cooked with medium grain rice for these photos: l can’t help it, it’s my favourite!!
When cooking plain rice (no extra ingredients in the pot), my mum always used a 1:1 water to rice ratio. She also placed a tea-towel between the lid and the pot to minimise evaporation. It worked every-time, and it’s how l make my rice!!
The key is to have a tight fitting lid to prevent steam escaping, and definitely no peeking!
For this recipe, l’ve altered my ratio a little, as l added lentils, which absorb some of the liquid.
I’ll sign off with this quote: “Rice is great if you’re hungry and want to eat 2,000 of something”.
Preparation Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Servings: 4
- 1 cup medium or long grain rice
- 2 medium – large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 x 400 g / 14 oz tin of pre cooked brown lentils
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 35 g / 1 oz butter
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Tip lentils into a colander, rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a small – medium saucepan (that has a tight fitting lid) over medium – high heat. Add the onions and 1 tsp cumin. Saute until deep golden in colour. You need to keep moving them around. It’s ok if they char a little on the edges (8-10 minutes) (Note 1).
- Remove 2/3 of the onions and place in a small bowl.
- Add the butter and garlic to the saucepan with the remaining onions. When the butter has melted, add the rice and another tsp of cumin. Stir until all rice grains are coated with the butter.
- Add the lentils. Saute for 1 minute to allow any residual liquid from the lentils to evaporate.
- Turn the heat up to high. Add the stock. Stir. Taste the broth for saltiness. Add salt if needed (Note 2).
- Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low. I turn my stove down to the lowest point.
- Place the tight fitting lid on the saucepan and cook for 20 minutes (no peeking at any time).
- Remove from the stove. Gently fluff up the rice with a fork. Turn out onto a serving plate. Stir through the caramelised onions. Reserve a few to scatter on top along with a little parsley for extra colour.
- It may seems like you have a mountain of sliced onions. Don’t worry, they will collapse to about 1/3 of the volume. You may need to add just a little extra oil if the pan dries out.
- I use chicken stock powder which is easy to adjust in terms of saltiness; but l always taste first to make sure. If you choose to add water instead of chicken stock, you will need to add 1 – 2 tsp of salt to bring out the flavours of the ingredients.