Beans and rice combined in one meal make a complete protein. This vegetarian dish is tasty and nutritious. I developed this vegetarian delicacy combining elements of both Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. The spices are Indian, but the proportions of beans and rice are standard to a Lebanese cooking method. Neither cultures generally place carrots in the dish, but I like to make it as a one-pot dish so I add some vegetables.
- 3/4 cup lentils
- 1–3/4 cups Basmati rice
- 3 Tablespoons olive
- 2 cinnamon sticks, 2″
- 8 cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1–1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups of water or broth. If using broth, reduce salt to 1 teaspoon. Vegetable, chicken, or beef broth can be used.*
- 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt or non-dairy yogurt**
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Wash the rice in several changes of water.
- Drain a final time and soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Soak lentils in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Pour the oil into a heavy, medium pan that has a tight-fitting lid. And set over medium-high heat. When hot put in the cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaves. Stir for 10 seconds.
- Put in the onions and stir fry until they are soft.
- Add the carrots and stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Drain both the lentils and rice form the soaking water and add to the pan. Add salt.
- Turn the heat down to medium and sauté the rice mixture very gently for 1 minute.
- Add 3 cups water or broth and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn heat to very low, and cook gently for 25 minutes.
- While rice is cooking, mix yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.
- Remove and discard cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cardamom pods. Open a few of the cardamom pods and mix in the seeds, if desired.
- Serve with a large spoonful of yogurt sauce on each dish.
*For vegetarian or vegan, use water or vegetable broth.
*For vegan, use non-dairy yogurt
- Prep Time: 35
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Meatless
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean, Indian
Keywords: vegetarian, gluten free, meatless Friday dinner, pantry meal, one-pot, Mediterranean Diet, Indian Spices, lenten meal