The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

 Bhutanese Red Rice and Lentil Pilaf

I had some of this beautiful rice along with some fresh organic lentils.
I had been thinking about what I wanted to do with my wonderful treats
when I ran across this recipe Red Lentil-Basmati Rice Pilaf from
Victoria of Mission Food...
If you have yet to pay Victoria a visit I encourage you to drop by. Her site is
packed with energy, fun and some seriously delightful food :)

I normally do not adapt recipes that I find, primarily due the fact that
I just don't follow directions very well ;) However in this case I really
loved the flavors here so I adapted slightly to meet the ingredients I had on hand.

Speaking of ingredients there are a couple here that some may not be familiar with.
First we have Bhutanese Red Rice another Heirloom Rice from Lotus Foods.

This is a red japonica rice and is semi-milled, some of the reddish bran is left on the rice.
So it cooks a bit more quickly than an unmilled brown rice. High in fiber, trace minerals,
vitamins and antioxidants. Plus this gorgeous rice boasts a fantastic rich nutty flavor.

Next we have our Daun Salam Leaf... typically these aromatic dried leaves are used
in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines. They are the dried or fresh leaves from the
Daun Salam tropical tree and have a bit of a sour note. They are used in a variety of
dishes in much the same way as the Bay leaf. However in most of the reading I have
done on this herb it is suggested that you do not use Bay leaf when a recipe call for
Salam leaf. I personal did not find the flavor to be similar to a bay leaf.

What you will need:
*Altered ingredients

*4 teaspoons sunflower oil
1/2 cup onion, finley chopped
*3 cloves garlic, finley chopped
*1 cup Bhutanese Red Rice
1 Salam leaf, or bay leaf
3 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
3/4 teaspoon  coriander, ground
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*1 cup fresh black lentils, whole or split
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 whole scallion, sliced

Let's get cooking:

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until translucent. Stir in the rice, Salam or Bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Stir in the ginger, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes then cook 1 minute. Add the lentils and stir to coat evenly with the spices.
Add 1 1/2 cups water boiling water, season with the remaining  pepper.
 Bring back to a boil continuing for about 3 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer,
covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
Notes: Lentils can cook at varied rates so it is important to check the periodically while
cooking. In addition, make sure to use boiling water verses adding raw lentils to water
then bringing to a boil. Do not add salt until lentils are cooked to desired tenderness
as this can make your lentils tough.

Get this look:
In a large, warm serving bowl, combine the cooked rice and lentils, mixing thoroughly.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Top with the sliced scallions.
Serves Four

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

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