Luscious Rice and lentil pilaf


rice and lentil pilafWith hints of cinnamon, cumin and coriander, this pilaf warms hearts and bones. The ingredients are not only inexpensive but are easy to find and likely already in your pantry. Paired with a side salad, this meal is completely balanced. You could even use the yogurt dressing on the salad! 

Total time: 50 mins

Serves 6



1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt


1 1/4 cups green or brown lentils, rinsed
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp canola oil
1 1/4 cups Basmati rice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro


1. To make the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl and refrigerate.

2. Place lentils, 4 cups of water and 1 tsp salt medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until lentils are tender (~15 min). Drain and set aside. While lentils cook, place rice in medium bowl and cover by 2 inches with hot tap water; let stand for 15 minutes.
3. Gently stir rice grains to release excess starch then pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Add cold tap water to the rice and then pour off the water. Repeat adding and pouring off cold tap water 4 to 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice.

4. Heat the oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in a Dutch oven over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent (~3 min). Add 2 1/4 cups water, sugar, and 1 tsp of salt and bring to boil. Stir in lentils, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is absorbed (~12 min).

5. Take the pot off the heat & remove lid. Place a dish towel over the pot and replace lid. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff rice and lentils with fork and stir in cilantro.

6. Serve with a drizzle of yogurt dressing and 2 cups of salad on the side.