New recipes

Indian-Spiced Rice with Lentils

Indian-Spiced Rice with Lentils


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1-inch pieces of cinnamon stick
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Recipe Preparation

  • Rinse lentils; drain. Place in small bowl. Rinse rice; drain. Place in another small bowl. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, and cumin; sauté about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; sauté about 30 seconds. Add water, salt, sugar, and turmeric; bring to boil. Reduce heat; add lentils and cook 8 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add rice and boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until lentils and rice are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes longer. Remove from heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Transfer rice to large bowl. Remove cinnamon stick pieces and cloves. Mix in cilantro and lime juice.

Recipe by Hema Kundargi of Cupertino CAReviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 fresh serrano chile peppers, halved, seeded, and finely chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 5 ounce pkg. fresh baby spinach
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Hot cooked basmati rice or brown rice
  • Orange wedges

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine the first ten ingredients (through turmeric).

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Stir in coconut milk and spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately over hot cooked rice with orange wedges.

Chile peppers contain oils that can irritate your skin and eyes. Wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with them.

Indian-Spiced Rice With Lentils

(Adapted from a recipe on epicurious, attributed to Hema Kundargi, and published in the December 2001 issue of Bon Appétit)

1 cup dried brown lentils

1 cup basmati rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped sweet onion (about ½ large onion)

1 (2-inch) piece of cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

½ teaspoon turmeric

4 1/3 cups water

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ¾ teaspoon table salt)*

1 cup grape tomatoes, washed and cut in half

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice from 1 large lime)

1. Rinse and drain the lentils and place in a bowl rinse and drain the rice.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 – 8 minutes, until softened.

4. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and cumin seeds and cook for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the garlic, ginger, and turmeric cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.

6. Add the water and salt increase the heat to high to bring the water to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to medium and add the lentils cook for about 8 minutes.

7. Increase the heat to high and add the rice. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.

8. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer cook for 15 minutes, until the lentils and rice are tender and the water is absorbed.

9. Stir in the tomatoes cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

10. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and it’s ready to serve.

* 1 tablespoon coarse or Kosher salt = 2 teaspoons regular (table) salt

Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils

Full of deep and complex flavors, this set it and forget it dish is both surprisingly healthy and incredibly versatile.

I am so excited about these Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils. Personally, I love Indian food, but it can be intimidating to try at home. While we do have a good Indian grocer here, it can also be expensive to invest in the many different spices that form the base of most Indian dishes. That’s why when I saw that Rebel Kitchen Knoxville was doing a cooking demo at Williams Sonoma on Sous Vide and Indian spices I had to go. His black dal, pictured below, was delicious.

Black Dal by Rebel Kitchen Photo Copyright Coquette Kitchen

What I appreciated most from the demo was his assertion that you don’t have to be 100% married to a recipe or cuisine style. You can shake up traditional dishes by using nontraditional ingredients. This is something I do frequently. Am I out of fresh jalapenos? I’ll try that poblano I was saving instead. No Thai basil in the house? Well, how about some regular basil and lemongrass instead?

A lot of tweaking comes from this, I think, and honestly, this is the way our great grandmothers cooked. By look, taste, feel, and whatever they could get their hands on. And dal, in particular, is a dish that goes by many names. It can be called dal makhani or urad dal, and is one of several different kinds of dal popular in Indian cuisine.

These Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils are based on black dal, rich in flavor & health benefits, & versatile: Serve over rice or top with a runny egg!

Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils or Black Dal?

I obviously don’t have a sous vide machine at home, because EXPENSIVE! I do, however, have a crockpot and a creative streak! Which is where these Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils came from. I played around with the recipe, and you can and should too. As my grandmother once told me, if it tastes good, it’s probably going to taste good in it.

Dal is one of those dishes that is actually quite healthy, but doesn’t taste like it. I love dal on a winter evening, or a rainy summer Sunday. This version is a far from classic recipe, which is why I’ve titled it Indian Spiced Lentils, instead of Black Dal or Dal Makhani. But I think it’s a good jumping off point if you want to try Indian cuisine without investing a log of spices or other ingredients.

One thing I would suggest, though, is serving it with a crusty bread, or hopefully even homemade naan!

Do you have dishes you like to tweak? Or are you afraid to play around with recipes? Either way, check out my 5 Secret Tips for Kitchen Success!

Indian Spiced Lentils Recipe

Got a craving for Indian food, but don’t want to use up a ton of your daily Points allowance? Try these Indian Spiced Lentils, and get a tasty, healthy Indian food recipe that has just 5 Points for each big serving. It makes a delicious Vegan or Vegetarian Weight Watchers Recipe to serve up as a low calorie main course or side dish.


  • 1 cup brown rice (I recommend basmati)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups fat free vegetable broth
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 limes, halved


  1. According to package instructions, prepare the brown rice.
  2. Spray a large saucepan with nonfat cooking spray and set over medium high heat. Add in the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the turmeric, cumin, and salt and cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in cauliflower and tomatoes and sauté for another 3 minutes, then add in the broth and lentils and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
  6. Stir in the rice and cilantro and squeeze in the juice from the lime halves.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, Reduced carbohydrate, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Indian (Southern)

Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is 1 ½ cups
Each serving = 5 Points

PER SERVING: 220 calories 1g fat 36g carbohydrates 12g protein 8g fiber


Delicious! I added to the recipe shown here 6 small multicolored peppers, one whole jalapeno, and a T of ground coriander. Otherwise, everything the same. Served it with Greek non-yogurt on the side to cool things down. Wonderful.

Recipe is okay but I’ll use fewer tomatoes next time.

Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been looking for something to replace my Lean Cuisine Indian Masala because I’m trying to reduce sodium. This recipe does the trick. I lowered sodium to 1/2 tsp but it still tastes great! I did recalculate the calories and I got 278 per serving. Still really low considering the amount in each serving! Maybe the brand of rice/lentils makes a difference or the veggies aren’t being counted? Anyway, great recipe and very healthy!

This is delicious! And, it makes so much! Beautiful and tasty Indian dish for few points – I love it! Do you think it would freeze well? I’m single and it makes alot!

Hello! Thank you for this recipe. (actually, thank you for so MANY of your recipes, your site is wonderfu) I made it tonight, and loved it. I will be linking to this post on my blog tonight. Best wishes.

Spicy Vegan Lentil Dahl

Dahl (also spelled dhal, daal, and dal) is essentially a thick South Asian-inspired lentil stew that is often prepared with ghee or clarified butter. This red lentil recipe for the popular Indian dish uses a little sesame oil for depth and flavor in place of the traditional ghee, which makes it vegan.

There ​is actually a wide range of dahls made from many different types of lentils and other vegetables called "pulses." Dried and split, they are cooked with various spices, meats, and vegetables. Options include red and yellow lentils, mung beans, lobiya (black-eyed peas), and chickpeas, among others. It's easy to modify a dahl to make it mild or spicy or to create a full dahl-based meal or a side dish.

This simple dahl soup is a favorite go-to recipe. It is easy to prepare with pantry staples and quick to make in one pot. Double or triple the recipe when you have a lot of mouths to feed. Any leftovers make a great lunch when served with flatbread and tea.

Kichari Patties (Spiced Red Lentils and Rice)

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links, and I could earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I personally use and recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

Kichari, an Indian spiced legume and rice porridge, really is something special. It can be something as simple as rice and red lentils cooked together, seasoned with salt and pepper and eaten as is. Many variations include a variety of veggies cooked right into the pot onions, peas, cauliflower, you name it. It’s often spiced with mustard seeds, cumin, fenugreek, and our all time-favorite, turmeric. It’s like an Indian risotto, cooked on a stove top until nice and creamy and dished out in wide bowls. You can eat it alone or with a simple flat bread. Here I change it up a bit and form this simple dish into our “Kichari Patties”. Dressed with a bit of tamarind sauce or hot sauce, it can be served as a snack, lunch, or dinner. Since it contains both rice and lentils (and a myriad of vegetables) it is in fact a very complete meal (and a complete protein!) Enjoy these while the weather is still cool, and it feels good to eat something warming and grounding. Be sure to include some black pepper in them as well, as it’s proven that black pepper increases our good friend turmeric’s bioavailability 1000x, yes 1000x. Gotta love when our plant friends work together as a team.


  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup brown rice (basmati, long grain, or short grain)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 3 veggies of choice, 1 cup of each, finely chopped:
  • broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, carrots, kale, etc.
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp oil


Step 1

1. In a medium pot, combine 1 Tbsp oil, garlic, ginger and onion and saute on medium heat until lightly browning. Add red lentils, rice and water and bring to a low boil. Cover pot and lower to a simmer. Let cook for 20-25 minutes until rice and lentils are cooked and it has reached a porridge like consistency. Uncover pot, turn off heat, and let rest, it will thicken a bit.

Step 2

When rice and lentils are done cooking, heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet and add cumin and mustard seeds, heat on medium low until mustard seeds begin to pop, usually 1-2 minutes. Do not let them burn. Add turmeric and black pepper to oil and stir. Add chopped vegetables of choice to skillet and cook on medium low heat until just tender and salt to taste. Add fresh herbs and stir into cooling rice/lentil mixture.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. When cool enough to handle, form kichari into small balls with your hands and lay on sheet evenly spaced. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. They will remain soft and delicious inside. Drizzle with tamarind sauce, or condiment of choice, Sriracha would work well here. Enjoy!


2 Tbspoil
6whole cloves
½cinnamon stick, broken
1whole star anise, broken
1medium onion, chopped
2 Tbspclarified butter (ghee), melted
1 Tbspfresh green chilli, minced (see note below)
1 tspfresh garlic, minced (see note below)
1 tspfresh ginger, minced (see note below)
2 tspsalt
¾ tspturmeric powder
½ tspgaram masala
500glamb shoulder chop, diced (or 500g boneless thigh chicken, diced, or 2 cups mixed veges)
1 largepotato, 1cm dice
2½ cupswater
¼ cuptomatoes, blended, tinned or fresh
1 cuplong grain rice
½ cuporange lentils

Place Julienne Sun-Dried Tomatoes in bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes, until rehydrated. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, Garam Masala and Hot Curry Powder, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add celery, carrot and apple, and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add hydrated tomatoes and stir in along with lentils, chicken stock, coconut milk, salt, pepper and Granulated Honey. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

Carefully purée half of soup in blender in small batches, then add back to pot.

Easy Indian Food

So you love Indian food like I do, right? However, we all know that making Indian cuisine can be quite time consuming. So when I can get the taste of Indian spices in a fast, one pot meal, then I get the best of both worlds.

I can have my cake curry and eat it too.

'Cause these days, who has a lot of time to spend in the kitchen working on seemingly endless elaborate steps? I have many other things that need to be done.

Like photo albums. Those need to be done. Please don't ask how many years behind I am. I need to start a support group for moms with empty photo albums :-). Care to join me?

Anyhow, back to the recipe.

This recipe is adapted from a dish simply called "Red Lentils" by Southern Living.

It's a pretty "Blah" name for a truly amazing dish.

It's quick on its own, but really lickety-split in my pressure cooker. If you don't have one of these yet, put it on your Christmas list now.

I know, I should get better at planning meals, but it sure is nice to not have any idea what you are going to have for dinner at 5:30 and have dinner on the table at 6:15.

Well, with this recipe, you can get it done. You can literally have an amazingly delicious meal on the table--without resorting to packages filled with preservatives and who knows what else.

Done. In a fast 30 minutes on the stove top, or 9 minutes in the pressure cooker.

Mom is happy that she didn't resort to serving boxed cereal (that might have paint thinner in it??) and toast, and the family is happy because they aren't having popcorn, carrot sticks, and hard-boiled eggs (or sardines for my egg-allergic son) again because mom forgot to plan :-).

Yes, I know, you all are wondering why we don't just order a pizza, right? We're all gluten-free and oldest is also deathly allergic to dairy, so that's why.

Indian Spiced Beluga Lentils Recipe

Have you noticed how much beluga lentils look like caviar? When cooked, they look like small shiny black pearls, just like caviar. They don’t taste like caviar though. They are loaded with protein, fiber and antioxidants, just what is needed for a healthy diet. Beluga lentils are very easy to cook within a half hour, unlike some Indian dals that must be soaked overnight.

As I incorporate more lentils and beans into our diet, I look for less common varieties to keep our meals interesting. Since they keep their shape and have a delicate bite when eaten, I thought incorporating them into an Indian-based recipe would be a perfect change to traditional Indian dal recipes.

Incorporating Indian spices and vegetables for flavor, healthy Spiced Beluga Lentils are delicious with any meal.

Spiced Beluga Lentils are easy to make. Simply season some oil with cumin seeds and bay leaf, then add chopped onion and carrot. The vegetables are added before the lentils because they take so long to become tender. Next the usual garlic and ginger are added to the pot.

Once everything begins to get come color and become tender, the Indian spices are added. Since they could burn easily, they are added just seconds before adding the lentils and water. The Spiced Beluga Lentils will simmer until the water is absorbed and the beans are tender.

When I serve Spiced Beluga Lentils, I like to top them with a dollop of plain yogurt and a pinch of freshly chopped cilantro. This recipe can be served with steamed rice and bread on the side. Adding one or two vegetable dishes will add color and a variety of texture to your meal.

Spiced Beluga Lentils are easy to make in no time.

Spiced Beluga Lentils are easy to pack to take to work or for even a picnic.

Watch the video: How To Cook Perfect Fluffy Rice. Jamie Oliver