Tomorrow is Thanksgiving: plenty of comfort food. But what's for dinner tonight? I decided to make a simple Indian combination of rice and red lentils. The whole dinner takes less than 40 minutes to make, but you'll have to multitask. The flavors of garlic and ginger wake up your spirits in this cold weather, and the lemon juice freshens up the entire dish.
Cumin Rice and Red Lentils
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup bamatti rice
5 cups water
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 lemon, juiced
1. In a medium sized pot heat 1/2 oil and add 1/2 of cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a minute, add basmatti rice, coat it with oil and saute for a few minutes.
2. Add 2 cups of water to the rice mixture, bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and cook for about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan heat the rest of the oil, add the remaining cumin seeds and cook for about a minute until the seeds release their flavor, but do not get burned! Add ginger and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the finely chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Add rinsed red lentils, 3 cups of water, curry powder and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes. The lentils should be soft and soupy. Add lemon juice as soon as you turn off the heat.
5. Spoon some of the cooked rice in the bowl and top with the lentil mixture. If you have fresh cilantro, definitely use it!