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by Vaishali Sharda, Kitchen Docs

Vaishali Sharda of the Kitchen Docs developed this lentil recipe as a  protein-packed weekday (and meatless monday) meal because lentils cook relatively quickly. This recipe from Sharda’s childhood is a special, “dry” version of the more common khichdis.


 1 cup brown lentils sabut masoor
 1 bay leaf
 1 tbsp olive oil
 A pinch asafoetida (optional)
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 1/2 white onion, sliced
 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
 1 tbsp coriander powder
 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
 1 roma tomato, diced
 1 cup basmati rice
 1/4 cup raisins
 3/4 cup fried onions (see notes)
 10 sprigs cilantro leaves, stripped and chopped
 1/2 lime, juiced
 Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Set a medium saucepan on medium high heat and add the lentils to it.

Add about 2.5 cups of water, bay leaf and a generous pinch of salt. Cover the pan, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn the heat to simmer/low and cook for 20 minutes (use a timer). After 20 minutes, drain the lentils in a sieve or colander and set aside.

While the lentils are about 10 minutes into cooking, set a heavy bottomed pan (that has a lid) on medium high heat.

Add oil and wait for it to get shiny. Add asafoetida (if using) and cumin seeds. Wait for the cumin seeds to start dancing around in the oil.

Add sliced onions, a pinch of salt and cook for another minute or two.

Add the ginger and turmeric, coriander and roasted cumin powder.

Cook for another 2 minutes before adding the diced roma tomato. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the raisins, 1/2 cup fried onions and mix.

Add the rice and and cook, stirring often (gently so you don’t break the rice) until slightly toasted and opaque, about two minutes.

Now add the cooked lentils, 2 cups of water and salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste; bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down to low so that the pan is at a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes. The water should be completely evaporated and rice should be tender. 

Turn the heat off, add cilantro, lime juice and rest of the fried onions. Keep the lid on and let the rice rest for five more minutes.

After five minutes, gently fluff the lentils and rice with a fork. Serve warm with yogurt.