It’s February, winter is still here, cold and challenging. Let’s look at the bright side though, the days are getting longer, pun intended. The other positive thing I’m feeling right now is I can make all the chillies, the soups and the curries that I want. Thus, I present to you my Rice and Dal recipe.
I will help you keep those new year’s resolutions, I promise.
The perfect vegan protein
Rice and dal is a perfect vegan protein. What is a vegan protein you ask? Let me show you in my own nerdy way:
Legume + Grain = Vegan Protein
Since lentils are legumes and rice is a grain
We conclude that
Rice and Dal is a vegan protein.
Drop the mic
Legumes provide you with all the fibre and protein that you need and the grains are usually there to supply the carbohydrates, which are basically just reserves of energies that our bodies run on. Add a healthy fat and you have yourself a vegan feast.
Rice and Dal:
I love this recipe for a very simple reason, it’s the first “Indian” recipe I have ever learned. It looked very simple and very delicious. One try is all I needed to succeed and I was a complete outsider to the cuisine. That’s how simple this dish is. Even if you have never made Indian food before, or food for that matter, you will make this work perfectly if you follow my instruction.
Another reason why I like this recipe is because it introduced me to red lentils. They are such an amazing ingredient. When they are raw, they look red and rocky. I remember that all I was thinking the first time I tried to use them for this recipe is how long is it going to take for me to get to eat.
The answer was, not very long.
Not only that these lentils cook very fast compared to other legumes, but they tend to break apart and form this mushy texture. As soon as I tasted them, I already had so many ideas on how to use this ingredient in the future.
It’s the perfect ground beef substitute. I used them in vegan chilies, vegan Jamaican Patties, vegan “meat” pies …
It’s such a great nutritious ingredient to have in your pantry.
Look at this
This is the bowl you have been waiting for. This will warm your soul during the long winters and the best thing is, it’s easy and cheap as chips.
There is a perfect balance between the creaminess of the lentils and the stickiness of the rice. I used short risotto rice, you are free to use whatever you like. Basmati is an excellent choice.
The rice rule:
Rice is a very easy thing to mess up. The trick is to use a 2:1 Ratio, water to rice. Capiche? Another thing I like to do is to flavour my rice. Using things like half a lemon, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, saffron is a great way to achieve that.
Nothing worse than bland boring rice.
Pin it !
Well there are worse things, but still, this is serious man. Rice serious.
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- 2 Cups of red lentils.
- 1 Tbsp of Coriander seeds
- 1 Tsp of Cumin seeds
- ½ Tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 Tsp of turmeric
- 1 Tbsp of canola oil.
- 2 Medium onions finely chopped.
- 1 Tsp of garam masala
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Cups of rice. You can use basmati, it’s a super choice.
- 6 Cups of water
- 2 Star Anise
- 3 Cardamom Pods
- Salt to taste
- Warm up some oil in a deep sauce pan and add your coriander and cumin seeds. As soon as they start sizzling add your chopped onions.
- Sweat the onions (cook until they become kind of transparent) and then add the rest of your Dal spices
- Add your lentils, stir and add hot water until your lentils are completely covered. About 4 cups of water should do.
- In a pot, add your rice and water and the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the water completely evaporates.
- Keep an eye on your lentils and make sure that they don’t dry out completely and burn. The consistency you are looking for is shown above in the photos.
- Once your rice is cooked, fish out the cardamom pods and star anise, put the rice aside and let it cool down.
- Once your lentils are done, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with some olive oil and fresh coriander and serve.
- Enjoy !
Cost per portion (1/6 th): 0.50$CA
The cost of my recipes is based on the average cost of ingredients I use. It's mostly provided as a guideline for you to understand the true savings you can make when you choose to cook at home.