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lentils and rice with yogurt sauce

One-Pot Lentils and Rice

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  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 35
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Meatless
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


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.


Units Scale

  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 13/4 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
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups of water or broth. If using broth, reduce salt to 1 teaspoon. Vegetable, chicken, or beef broth can be used.*

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt or non-dairy yogurt**
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Wash the rice in several changes of water.
  2. Drain a final time and soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain.
  3. Soak lentils in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain.
  4. 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.
  5. Put in the onions and stir fry until they are soft.
  6. Add the carrots and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Drain both the lentils and rice form the soaking water and add to the pan. Add salt.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium and sauté the rice mixture very gently for 1 minute.
  9. Add 3 cups water or broth and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn heat to very low, and cook gently for 25 minutes.
  10. While rice is cooking, mix yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.
  11. Remove and discard cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cardamom pods. Open a few of the cardamom pods and mix in the seeds, if desired.
  12. 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

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