We first had this dish at Donald Douglas’s birthday lunch. (Donald played the dourly determined Captain MacNeil in Poldark and has been a cherished friend and neighbour of ours here in France for years.) It was his step-daughter Daisy’s birthday contribution to the celebratory feast…
It’s versatile and can be served in a number of ways–as a salad or a vegetarian main course or a side dish–it has a pleasing depth of taste.
Soaking the brown rice beforehand helps it to cook more easily in time with the lentils.
100gms basmati brown rice
175 gms puy/green/brown lentils
1 tblsp cumin seeds
1 tblsp coriander seeds
2 tblsps olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp each ground allspice and cinnamon
salt and pepper
300 ml hot water
1 large onion–peeled, halved and sliced
2 tblsps olive oil
Small bunch parsley or coriander–chopped
- Wash the rice and soak it in a bowl of cold water for twenty minutes.
- Dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small pan until they begin to colour.
- Then pop them in a mortar and pestle them to break them up a bit.
- Wash and drain the lentils, bring them to the boil in plenty of water and cook them until they begin to soften–about twenty minutes–they should not become mushy.
- Drain the lentils and return them to the pan.
- Mix all the spices with the two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Drain the rice and add it to the lentils in the pan.
- Mix in the spices and turn over everything together.
- Integrate the hot water and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring up to the boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pan tightly.
- Cook until the rice is done–allow about thirty minutes.
- As it cooks heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and fry the sliced onion slowly until it colours and crisps a little.
- When the lentils and rice are cooked fold in the onions–leaving some to sprinkle on top with the parsley or better still the fresh coriander.