There was a time when I didn't know the difference between green lentils and whole masoor dal or red lentils. Since they both looked the same I thought they both are one and the same. Since I didn't use either of the lentils that much, I didn't know the difference in their cooking times either. Now I know the they both are different, other than the looks which is the whole red lentils are kind of smaller than the green lentils and where as the green lentils cook much faster than red lentils, which cook for a way longer time or have to be pressure cooked.
There is a Greek rice dish which is made of these green lentils known as 'Majadra'" which is cooked with lots of caramelized onions and garlic. A very flavorful 'Pilaf' as they call it!
This is a twist on that dish....the twist being making it Indianized with addition of Garam masala and ginger garlic paste. I left out adding green chillies and making it more spicier, but for the adult version, I think you should add few chopped green chillies and add more chilli powder. When I make this for my kids, I can't stop eating it, because I love having whole lentils in rice. It surely gives a whole new texture to the rice.
To make this rice, you will have to be little bit of prepared, as you to boil the lentils for about 10 minutes before making the dish. The lentils should be only cooked so much that they don't loose their wholeness or split open or become mushy. When you check if they are cooked, there should still be a slight bite to it. They will cook completely when you cook them again as a dish.
It makes for a yummy one pot meal, as well as a nutritious lunch box dish for kids or adults.
1/2 cup green lentils, washed and boiled for 10 min
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 piece onion, cut lengthwise
1/4 piece of tomato, chopped
coriander leaves for garnish
Pinch of shah jeera or kala jeera
pinch of jeera, cumin seeds
1/4 ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp chilli powder
pinch of turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
Wash and boil the lentils, till they are tender but not split open or mushy. Takes about 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai and add the shahi jeera and jeera. Let them splutter.
Now add the drained lentils.
Add the some salt and add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute.
Add the chopped tomato, along with turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, till the tomatoes are soft.
Add the chopped onions and saute for about a minute.
Add the cooked rice and some more salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for another couple of minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot or warm.
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