Updated: Dec 13, 2019
A vegetarian rice dish that is infused with sweet spices that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also your belly. You definitely could have this dish without the cinnamon but given how its fall, I love the addition. It is something around this time of year that makes me appreciate the warm spices even more.
2 cups French Lentils
2 cups Basmati Rice
2 TBS Kosher Salt +1tsp
3-5 TBS neutral oil
1)Clean and wash the 2 cups of rice about 5 times in warm water and set aside.
2)Cook the lentils for about 10-15 min in 4 cups of water and 1tsp kosher salt. Drain and set aside.Keep in mind you do not want to fully cook the lentils, it should still have a little bit of texture.
3)Bring 7 cups of water and 2TBS of salt to a boil in a large pot (can either use a nonstick or a stainless still pot). When ready pour the washed and drained rice into the pot. Let it boil briskly for about 6-10 mins, and gently stir it once in a while to loosen up any grains that may be stuck together or may have stuck to the bottom of the pot. When the rice has softened substantially and there is still a little bit of bite to it add the cooked lentils. Stir to combine and then drain the rice in a large fine-mesh colander and rinse it quickly with about 1 cup of water.
4)In the same pot, pour 3TBS of neutral oil and pour the lentil/rice mixture into the the pot very gently and making sure to mound it into a shape of a pyramid (this insures proper cooking and rise for the rice). Then place it on a medium heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drizzle the rest of the 2TBS of oil, then either place a clean dish towel or paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with the lid to prevent steam from escaping. Cook for 25-30 minutes on low heat.
5)Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, this will help to free the crust (Tahdig, the crispy deliciousness that you will not want to share) from the bottom of the pot.
2 large Shallot(sliced thinly)
1 cup Raisins
1tsp Vietnamese Cinnamon
1-2 TBS neutral oil
While the rice is cooking, start prepping the topping. Get a pan heated over a medium heat and pour the oil and then followed by the sliced shallots. After some slight browning on the shallots, go ahead and turn the heat to low and add the raisins. Toss to combine and cook for a few minutes and finish it off with the addition of cinnamon. Set aside for later use and rewarm right before serving if necessary.
***Serve in a large platter or individual plates.