Lentils and rice: an easy, healthy recipe

Lentils are high in iron, folate, fiber and other essential nutrients. Try this easy, gluten free recipe for green lentils and rice.

Green lentils over rice

As part of my “eat all the iron” life plan to address my iron deficiency, I’ve discovered the world of lentils. According to Whole Living, they are “loaded with fiber, folate, iron, protein, and other vitamins and minerals.” Lentils are often used in Indian foods, like dhal (a stew made from pulses like lentils.) I’ve never been a huge fan of Indian spices, but I used dhal as inspiration for this toned-back, mellow preparation of green lentils. I like to serve it over white rice with a fresh salad on the side. Here’s my recipe for lentils!

Green lentils and rice

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup dry *green lentils, washed

3 ½ cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon *cumin

Pinch hot paprika


¼ teaspoon *turmeric

¼ teaspoon *brown mustard seeds

Fry the onions in butter in a medium saucepan for a few minutes. When they are just starting to caramelize, add the garlic. Once the garlic has softened, add the broth and stir. Bring that to a boil, then add the lentils, cumin, paprika, and optional spices if you’re using them. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer. Now just leave it alone. For me, it takes 30-40 minutes to cook through. Keep an eye on them, especially in the last 10 minutes, to make sure you haven’t cooked off all the liquid. If it’s starting to look dry, add another ½ cup broth or water. The end result should be lentils in just a little bit of sauce. The only way I know to test them is to take a bite – the lentils should be cooked through and not grainy or tough. Try not to overcook them either, as they can get mushy. I haven’t included salt in the recipe as the broth I use is salty enough. When you check them to see if they are done, you make need to add a little salt, especially if you’ve used a low sodium broth.

Serve over cooked white rice. (I’m assuming you can make rice; if not, here’s a good place to learn!)

Do you make lentils? Do you have an amazing recipe for Indian food that will make me change my mind? I do like pakora – does that count? Tell me in the comments!

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