Basmati & Wild Rice With Lentils

Expectations:

You may have noticed my pattern of ‘healthy grain + protein + veggies’ repeats itself in a myriad of delicious ways throughout the week.  This wild and basmati-lentil combo is something I stumbled upon while experimenting with sneaking more protein and calories into my then underweight youngest child.  The lentils and wild rice mix things up a bit from the usual rice side dishes!  It’s on my weekend cooking rotation as typically it takes about 40 minutes to cook + prep.  It pairs nicely with a wide range of foods or for a vegetarian meal, is a great main with a nice strong veg such as eggplant or sweet potato.

Expectations:

  • Total time about 45 minutes.  Prep time is fast, about 5 minutes.
  • Serves 4 to 6, (depending on the number of rice eaters in your family).  I usually have a small amount left over to reheat later in the week for lunch or turn into magic leftover burrito filling.
  • Kid modifications: Mine have become very accustomed to eating rice.  My oldest no longer digs lentils so I usually separate to put just basmati & wild rice onto his plate.   See pictures of my children’s plates below.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of brown basmati rice.
  • Optional:  1/4 cup of puy or black lentils.  If your family isn’t into lentils, substitute with the same amount of basmati or wild rice.
  • Optional:  1/4 cup of wild rice.  If you don’t have (or want) wild rice, just substitute with the same amount of basmati rice.
  • 2 1/4 cups of flavored or plain water (see below if you’d like to flavor yours).

For flavoring the cooking water (optional):

  • 1 garlic clove (peeled, uncut)
  • 1 dried or fresh chili pepper (uncut) Note: it will not make the rice spicy, just add flavor.
  • Generous (about 1 tbsp.) shake of turmeric
  • Generous (about 2 tsp. shake of cumin)
  • Salt (about  1- 1 1/2 tsp — to accommodate for the extra water.)
  • 1 tbsp. of Olive Oil

Steps to Put This On Your Table:

  • I put the rice and lentils into a colander (or fine sieve) and rinse thoroughly with cold water for about 15 – 30 seconds.
  • Bring (flavored water or plain water with salt & olive oil) to boil in a small but tall saucepan or stockpot (using high heat).
  • Remove from the heat to add the rice and lentils (very slowly, it will bubble due to the salt) into the hot water.
  • Return to the burner.  Stir the mixture very slowly, for about 30 seconds.
  • Bring back to a boil (about another minute).  Then cover the pan, vent the top slightly (leave a small hole for air to escape), reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 40 – 42 minutes.  When it’s done, there will be small ‘holes’ at the top of the rice mixture and the water will have cooked into the rice or evaporated.  To make sure it’s done taste test the rice to make sure it’s firm but fluffy in texture & easy to chew.  
  • Discard the pepper & garlic clove if using.  Serve immediately or cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and then put the top back on to keep warm.

 

Slow cooker curry chicken over basmati & wild rice with lentils.
Slow cooker curry chicken over basmati & wild rice with lentils.

Enjoy!  Leftovers can be saved in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 or 3 days, reheat over low heat with about a ¼ cup of water (or broth).

Kids' plates basmati & wild rice with lentils + curry chicken
Kids’ plates basmati & wild rice with lentils + curry chicken

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