Fragrant Red Lentils with Rice


Fragrant Red Lentils with Rice

Adapted from

Here goes yet another Meatless Monday recipe. If you love Indian food, this is the way to go. The mix of spices suits the lentils beautifully. It’s a warming, fragrant dish, perfect for autumn (and rich in protein too!). I usually eat my side dish separately from the main course. However, at the end I tried some rice with the lentils and it really tasted great. Mixing the yogurt with the lentils also gives them a good boost, but if you want to go vegan, you can omit it.


  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups dried small red lentils
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 ½ cups hot cooked Brown rice
  • 5 tbsp plain yogurt (I used Fage Greek yogurt)


  1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are tender and begin to brown slightly.
  2. Add the ginger, coriander, cumin and bay leaves. Sauté for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the 3 cups of water, lentils and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
  4. Add the lemon juice, cilantro and garam masala to the lentil mixture and stir.
  5. To serve, place about ½ of rice into each of 5 shallow bowl. Spoon ¾ cup of the lentil mixture over the rice or on the side. Top the lentil mixture with 1 tablespoon of yogurt (omit if vegan).


Comments: My father usually doesn’t like lentils but he loved this dish. If someone in your family doesn’t like lentils, they should still try this dish; you don’t really taste the lentils, you taste the spices. As I said before, if you like Indian food, this is perfect for you. If you can’t find red lentils in the normal bean aisle, try the international aisle of the supermarket. I’m sure that the lentils would also go great with naan bread (I haven’t tried it yet). The recipe says that the yield is 5 servings but there are quite a lot of leftover lentils, for 2 to 3 more servings. It’s not a bad thing; we can try it with naan now!

Ready to be served!

Ready to be served!


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