This is a classic Lebanese dish that I grew up eating… I do it without the traditional onion and serve with a side of roasted vegetables in the fall and winter or a shredded salad in the spring and summer. This is one of the most economical meals you can make with short prep time and only five ingredients. You can dress it up and vary it in all sorts of ways.
Legumes in general are high in proten. Ayurveda considers them sattvic and astringent (drying)… on their own the can increase vata… but are easily balanced with spices, bay leaves, oil and a grounding grain like rice. Large beans like kidney beans, chick peas and black eyed peas require soaking, but small lentils and dals need only be rinsed before cooking. This recipe relies on cumin which enkindles agni (digestive fire) without overheating, cleanses the urinary tract, and encourages good absorption and clean breath.
- 1/3 Cup Green, Brown or French Lentils, rinsed
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 1 Cup White Basmati Rice, soaked in 2 Cups water for 15 minutes
- 3 TB Sunflower Oil, Butter, Ghee, or Olive oil
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 Bay Leaves
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Black Pepper to taste
In a medium pot, head the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and stir until slightly browned & aromatic..
Add the lentils and stir into the oil & cumin to coat. Add the salt, bay leaf and 2/3 cup water and bring up to boil, stirring occasionally.
Add the rice plus the 2 cups soak water and bring up to boil.
Cover and turn down to low to simmer.
Cook about 20 minutes (checking occasionally that the bottom isn’t sticking – without overstirring… if it’s starting to stick or water is absorbed but lentils and rice are not yet cooked through, stir in more water)
Turn off heat & let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Add black pepper to taste and top with extra olive oil.
- Top with a thin lemon-tahini dressing.
- Before stirring stir in finely chopped fresh mint or parsley or top with ground dried mint.
- Serve with a dollop of organic whole milk plain yogurt.
- Serve with a side some baked or roasted beets.
- Serve with a simple salad of thinly sliced radish, fennel, & cucumbers with mint, lemon & olive oil.