Rice with Lentils
(By Mrs. Soheila
3 cups (8 Oz) of white long grain rice.
4 table spoons of cooking oil.
1 cup (8 Oz) of lentils.
1 loaf of pita (or other flat middle eastern type) bread.
4 oz of water.
For best results, soak the rice for a few hours in hot water and
salt before cooking. Soak the lentils in a separate water (no
salt) container a short while before cooking.
In a medium size pot, half-way filled with water, bring the water
to a boil. Add the rice (and the water it was soaking in), and
let it cook for a few minutes until it starts boiling. Add the
lentils. Occasionally pick a few of the rice grains with a spoon
and chew on them to see if they have softened.
When the rice is half-crunchy half-soft, take it out and drain it
in a kitchen stringer. Run the tab water on it to wash out some of
the excess salt.
Pour the oil in the pot, add 4 oz of water, separate the two halves
of the pita bread and lay them in the bottom of the pot, add a bit of
extra oil if necessary, then pile up the rice losely in the shape
of a heap. With the back of a spoon, make five holes, one in the
center and four around it so that the rice can breath in the cooking
Spread a little water on top and close the lid. Let it cook for a
few minutes on high heat. When steam starts to rise, change the
setting to medium heat and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Then turn the heat to medium-low, sprinkle some cooking oil to
prevent drying, and let it cook for about another 10-15 minutes
If you have a choice, use any of the Basmati brands of rice (AftAb,
Pari, Gilda, Feel-Neshan, etc.) you can buy from middle eastern or
Indian stores. But be careful not to overboil these types.
They get pretty sticky if you over cook them. If all else fails,
use Mahatma brand (American from supermarket). They take longer
to soften, and there is less chance of coming out sticky.
When putting bread in the bottom of the pot for purpose of
forming bottom crust (tah deeg), it is best to use a teflon
coated or any other non stick pot for this purpose. In most
cases, after cooking the rice in such pots, you can put a
large round plate over the pot, flip it over and get the rice
and the crust to come out in one piece.