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Fragrant Red Lentils with Rice

Becky Luigart-Stayner
Yield 5 servings
This red lentils and rice recipe calls for a fragrant blend of seasonings and herbs. Garam masala is an Indian blend of dry-roasted, ground spices that includes up to a dozen different flavors ranging from cinnamon to fennel to black pepper; it can be found with other spices in many large supermarkets or speciality food shops.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried small red lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon seeded minced jalapeño pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 1/2 cups hot cooked brown basmati or brown rice
  • 5 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 409
  • caloriesfromfat 20 %
  • fat 9.3 g
  • satfat 3.8 g
  • monofat 2.7 g
  • polyfat 2.1 g
  • protein 20.6 g
  • carbohydrate 63.4 g
  • fiber 9.5 g
  • cholesterol 13 mg
  • iron 6.6 mg
  • sodium 427 mg
  • calcium 104 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, and sauté 6 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add the ginger and next 5 ingredients (ginger though bay leaves), and sauté for 1 minute. Add 3 cups water, lentils, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves.

  2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and jalapeño; sauté 5 minutes. Add to the lentil mixture; stir in juice, cilantro, and garam masala.

  3. Place 1/2 cup rice into each of 5 shallow bowls; spoon 3/4 cup lentil mixture over rice. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt.

  4. Note: Because jalapeño peppers can vary in heat intensity, you may wish to adjust the amount used based on your own preference for hot and spicy foods.