White Rice with Lentils and Golden Raisins

Another one-pot recipe with a moderate list of ingredients, an extremely simple procedure (you don't need to cut or chop anything!) and a decent cooking time (less than 1 hour).  I would recommend making the full batch, which makes 2 servings, because you can either make it for you and someone else or you can store the remainder in the fridge, as it will hold for 3 to 4 days.  If you don't want to make extra this recipe can be halved extremely easily.

I've been studying (and eating) quite a bit of north-african cuisine recently, and I absolutely love the fact that most of their meals, especially their divine tajines (meat or vegetable stews), combine sweet and salty flavors in a way that isn't too overwhelming or overpowering in one of either directions.  I'm always a fan of sweets (how can you not be in Paris, a city which possesses sweets that are mouth-watering upon both sight and taste?) and when sweet flavors are paired well in savory dishes it adds a great touch.

So my recent eating and reading excursions are certainly what led to the creation of this recipe.  I can't deny that peering over the saucepan this morning playing around with spices may have been one of the highlights of my day (second only to video chatting with my sister).  Some things you can add or change around in the recipe:  add fewer or more raisins upon your liking, pine nuts, roughly chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts), or fresh or dried herbs such as parsley and oregano.  As you see in the pictures, I added some chopped fresh parsley to my version, and topped it with pine nuts. 

Bon appétit!

White Rice with Lentils and Golden Raisins - makes 2 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2-cup (220 grams) lentilles de puy (french green lentils, but any other type works fine too)
1 pinch each of turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and ground coriander
1 cup (450 grams) white rice, such as basmati, or any other long-grain rice
1-2 handfuls golden raisins
1 tbsp honey

1.  Wash and drain the rice, set aside; wash and drain the lentils (try to dry them with paper towels as thoroughly as possible).
2.  Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the lentils and spices, and sautée until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
3.  Add 1 cup water to the saucepan, and simmer until lentils have softened slightly, about 15-20 minutes.
4.  Add rice, raisins, honey, and 2 cups water to saucepan.  Sprinkle with 2 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper; stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice is softened, about 30 minutes.
5.  Serve with fresh herbs (and a fat juicy steak if you're so inclined).


eliza said...

Oh yes, will definitely try this - I love veg. cous cous
after having it in Marrekesh but this dish has more protein

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