Lentil Pilaff

Aromatic Indian spices add a delicious fragrance to Reza Mahammad's simple lentil pilaff, a tasty side-dish
By Reza Mahammad
Lentil Pilaff
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 20 mins soaking
  • Effort: easy



  • 2 tbsp clarified butter, (ghee)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3-4 black cardamom
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger
  • 150 g cooked lentils
  • 225 g basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water for 20 minutes


1. Heat a heavy-based saucepan until hot. Add the clarified butter, then add the cumin seeds, onion, black cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon sticks.

2. Fry, stirring now and then, until the onion has turned golden, around 10 minutes. Add the salt, garlic and ginger and mix well.

3. Mix in the cooked lentils and 2 tablespoons of water and cook, stirring often, until the water has evaporated.

4. Add the drained basmati rice and 300ml of water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pan with a damp cloth and a tightly-fitting lid.

5. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

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