Friday, December 12, 2008

Rice Lentil Polou

Several years ago, my husband and I were part of the Baha'i community here in Hamilton. During those times, many Iranians were immigrating to Canada so we had many opportunities to try different Persian dishes. We fondly remember the delicious rice dishes, heaping platters of fragrant rice, flavoured with spices, vegetables and sometimes small amounts of meat. Of course, the prized 'tah dig' was much sought after. Tah dig was usually (in my experience) slices of potato sitting at the bottom of the pot; when the rice had cooked and was turned out onto the platter, the potato slices had by then become golden slices of crispy chips. I have just read that pita slices are used instead of potato.

The Persian rice recipe is a bit time-consuming, but well worth the effort for special dinners. For a faster and almost as tasty, and with no fat (the Persian recipe calls for oil and butter), I often make this Rice Lentil Polou from Laurel's Kitchen. My family loves it, the leftovers are delicious and it is so simple to prepare - it does take some time for cooking and includes one costly ingredient: pine nuts (but only 1/2 a cup!). Lentils are high in protein don't forget!

Ingredients: 1/2 medium onion, chopped; 1 tablespoon oil, 1 cup raw brown rice (I used basmati), 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup raw lentils, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds.

Directions: (use non-ferrous pot) Saute onion in oil until soft. Add rice and stir for several minutes. Combine tomato paste with water and cinnamon. Add this mixture, plus the rinsed lentils, to the rice. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, then turn heat down to very low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Add raisins, salt and nuts to rice. Mixture should still have some water, just a little; if not...add up to 1/4 cup of water. Turn rice into a greased baking dish; cover and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

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seriously amused said...

Both dishes sound delicious.

It's ironic that the recipe you posted was from my very first vegetarian cookbook almost 30 years ago. I no longer have the book and had forgotten all about it.

Have a great weekend.

Compassionate Consumption said...

Hi Judy,
Laurel's Kitchen has a special place in my heart as well. Long story short (even though you haven't asked!), when I started meditating (back about 10 years ago), I was following the teachings of Eknath Eswaran. Turns out he was their (the authors of Laurel's Kitchen) meditation teacher as well and I believe (??) introduced them to vegetarianism. I didn't make the connection until sometime later when I purchased a used copy online and read the dedication where Eknath was mentioned.
I am sure you can still purchase this cookbook, used online for an excellent price. Although, not a vegan cookbook, I find it a valuable resource with excellent recipes.
Hope you are well Judy. Take care.

seriously amused said...

Hi Michele,

That's quite the story re. Laurel's Kitchen.

BTW, I like what you're doing with your blog. I love the photo of the little piglet. What a cutie!

If only people would realize that all animals have personalities, feelings and rights (not just the domesticated ones who live in our homes).

Take care!