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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

This Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro is one of my favorite ways to prepare lentils. The lentils are al-dente and delicious with a background of aromatic spices and fresh cilantro and lime. Buy your ingredients at your favorite Farmers Market! 

lentil rice pilaf

about Indian Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro

One of the things I love about Indian cooking is the anticipation built by the food’s cooking aroma. The scent of cinnamon, cloves, cumin, garlic, and ginger combine in a magical way that creates a sense of wellbeing and makes you hungry. The addition of turmeric and sugar adds warmth and a bit of sweetness to the Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro. But, finally, the lime and cilantro brighten the dish with a zingy finish.

putting the Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro together

We start with sautèing the cinnamon, cloves, and cumin seed. I consider this an important step; it releases and intensifies their flavor. Then add in the ginger and garlic. I’m using stock in the recipe, but I often make the Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro with water instead of stock. That makes the pilaf a little lighter in color and flavor.

I have the lentils cooking for 8 minutes before you add in the rice. You might think that the lentils will overcook, but actually, the timing with the rice works out perfectly. It is essential, though, that you use brown lentils; red and yellow lentils vary in cooking time. Also, this recipe uses white basmati rice. Brown basmati rice takes longer to cook. Brown basmati rice is a whole grain because the bran and germ of the grain are still intact. Like any whole-grain rice version, the amount of water and cooking time is more than their more processed counterparts.

To serve with the Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro, I would opt for a salad or a side dish with a highly acidic dressing. I have listed some possibilities for you below. Eat well and have fun!

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spices
adding lentils
herbs and lime

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Step by Step Instructions

Indian Lentil Rice Pilaf

Indian Lentil Rice Pilaf with Cilantro

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
Indian Lentil Rice Pilaf is one of my favorite ways to prepare lentils. The lentils are al-dente and delicious with a background of aromatic spices and fresh cilantro and lime.
5 from 2 votes

Print - members only.  Please log in or JOIN HERE!

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish - Vegetarian, Sides
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 451 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 3- inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic -- finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and drain the lentils.
  • In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and cumin; sautè for about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger, stirring for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the stock, salt, sugar, and turmeric. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the lentils and cook, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Turn up the heat to high. Add the rice and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils and the rice are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cloves and cinnamon; stir in the herbs and lime juice.

Nutrition

Calories: 451kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 22gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 1512mgPotassium: 781mgFiber: 16gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 5mg
Keyword cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, turmeric
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