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
How to Make It
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.
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.
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.
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.
This dish was good, but I'll make a few changes next time. I think it needs additional garlic (at least a clove) and the 1 T jalepeno pepper was not enough for us. It was very flavorful, but not at all spicy and we would have liked more of a kick. I used regular Indian basmati rice and added some saffron. I used canola oil since it is healthier, and I didn't add the 2T of cilantro because I didn't have it on hand. If you don't like heavy Indian spice/flavor, I recommend slightly decreasing the spices. It was very powerfully flavored with listed ingredients (including Garam Masala). I will definitely make this again with the above changes.
Made this recipe without any modifications and it was excellent. Served it with a choice of rice and/or naan as a vegetarian main entree. Would definitely make this for guests. Would also be fun to play around with recipe--sub chicken broth for water and use less salt or add chicken for protein source; many possibilities to tailor recipe to personal taste.
This was absolutely delicious! I just used brown lentils instead of red and it was fine; they will still fall apart like red lentils if you cook them long enough. The flavors are exciting but just subtle enough to serve this with a stronger tasting curry or other Indian style main dish. I served this as a side to the Sweet Potato Chicken Curry on this site, and the two dishes paired together beautifully.