There are an endless variety of rice dishes within Indian cuisine and rightly so considering rice is one of the staple foods across the Indian subcontinent! The variations, flavours, textures of each of these rice dishes is very unique to the area it originates from, be it the rich biryani or the simple lemon or jeera rice. One such rice dish is the Dal Veg Pulao (Red Lentils and Vegetable Rice). This is a protein dish similar to the South Indian style toor dal rice variety, Arisi Paruppu Sadam. When time is limited, this dish is the one I go for as it is quick to prepare and is a complete meal in itself.
A simple recipe tempered with onions, garlic and the aromatic spices cinnamon and cloves alongside fresh vegetables, basmati rice and red lentils, making for a hearty and filling meal. To go Dal Veg Pulao a perfect accompaniment is papad, pickle and curd.
Dal Veg Pulao (Red Lentil and Vegetable Rice)
1 ½ cups long grain or Basmati rice
1 cup red lentils (Masoor dal)
200g green beans
200g or 2 medium red pepper (Capsicum)
1 large brown onion
3 garlic cloves
2-3 dried red chillies
2 bay leaves
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida
salt to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 ½ cups of water
- Firstly rinse the rice in water until it runs clear of starch. Set aside to soak in water.
- Rinse the red lentils in water until it runs clear of starch. Set aside to soak in water.
- Prepare onion and spice mixture to add to tempering.
- Chop onions and garlic cloves and crush cinnamon, cloves, red chillies and bay leaves in a pestle and mortar. Or crush using a mini chopper. Set aside.
- Chop red peppers and green beans.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add the cumin seeds, asafetida.
- Then add onion mixture.
- Sauté on a low heat until spices are fragrant and onions become golden brown and mixture reduces in quantity.
- Add all chopped vegetables and mix well with onion mixture.
- Add salt and water. Sauté vegetables on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Drain the soaked red lentils and add to the vegetables. Gently mix the red lentils in with the vegetables and onion mixture and allow to simmer with the vegetables for a few minutes.
- Add drained rice and lemon juice.
- Mix vegetables, rice and red lentils gently but thoroughly.
- Set to low heat level, cover and allow rice and vegetables to cook until water is absorbed. During cooking, check if there is enough water which is dependant in the quantity and quality of the rice; use a fork to gently stir the rice without breaking the grains.
- Once rice has cooked, fluff and allow the rice to stand briefly.
- Serve dal veg pulao hot with papad, pickle, yogurt or a salad.
Let me know how this works for you.