Saturday, November 21, 2009

Loving Lentils

The lentil rice was described as 'Seasoned rice, whole lentils, macaroni.'
Macaroni? But this wasn't the kids' menu.
So I asked the owner of the cafe about it and was told that macaroni was a common addition to lentil rice in his native Egypt.
He went on to say that it adds an interesting texture to the rice.
And so it did!
I rarely muster courage to ask for the recipe. The one time I do, all I get is the most vague response "Oh nothing fancy, lots of sauteed onions, roasted cumin, salt, lentils, rice, and macaroni."

Back home I took a shot at making said rice.
So did the rice taste the way it did at the restaurant. Absolutely not!
But does it taste good? You betcha! Also, it is vegan and no, it is not a salad.

Masoor Rice with Pasta
1 cup masoor
1 cup rice, uncooked
½ cup elbow or any small macaroni
2 large onions, sliced
1 tbsp cumin (jeera), roasted
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
salt, to taste
cilantro, for garnishing (optional)

Cook the macaroni the usual way; set aside.

Wash the masoor and add it to a pot of water (about 1 ½ cups).
Add a tsp of salt and mix well.
Cook till the masoor retains a bite. Add more water if necessary.
Drain and set aside.

Wash the rice and cook it the usual way in slightly salted water.
When almost done, drain the water and set aside the rice.

Heat oil and add the sliced onions.
Sauté over low to medium heat till brown. This takes a while but do not rush through it.
Add the red pepper flakes, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.

Assemble the rice
Grease the bottom of the serving dish with a bit of oil.
Spread half the rice, masoor, pasta, rest of the rice, and lastly the onions.
(Or you could do what I did: just mix it all together.)

The rice can be assembled ahead of time and warmed in the microwave just before serving.

The is my entry to My Legume Love Affair#17 hosted this month by Sra. This long running blog event was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.
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