Masoor Daal or Split Red Lentils is a common Indian staple at most households, so is the brown or the whole red lentil called as Sabut Masoor. I had a lot sitting in my cupboard and I decided to mix them with my rice, initially thinking of making a khichdi but finally ended up making something fancy – Masoor Pulao. I was told today by one of my followers that this recipe is called Adas Polo in Persian language but the only difference is that this is a vegetarian recipe but the Adas Polo is with some minced beef/lamb as well.
Masoor Pulao is vegetarian because of the use of ghee but again it is very easily replacable with vegetable ghee, oil or even vegan butter. It tastes great as a complete dish by itself thus making the job of cooking much easier. Just as a compliment to the complex flavor, I like Raita with such rice dishes. I made a crunchy Boondi Raita to go with it.
This is a very easy recipe and it is very possible to cook the rice and lentils together rather than separately, but I like my rice to have a better structure with this process.
Hope you give this quick, royal-ish rice recipe a try. Also if you like another twist to this similar dish check this Lebanese Mujadara Recipe as well
Wash the rice well for atleast 3-4 times and soak it in water for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile in a heavy bottomed pan, add 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee. Once hot, add the cumin seeds followed by beaf leaf, cloves, green and black cardamom and cinamon. Cook them on low to medium flame for 30 seconds before adding half of the sliced onion.
Cook the onion on medium flame for 2-3 minutes and add the ginger garlic paste. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the tomato paste. (Feel free to add 2 chopped fresh tomatoes , I had none thus added the paste). Mix well and let it cook for a few minutes.
Add the turmeric, coriander and kashmiri chilli powder and mix everything well. To this add the yoghurt along with 1/2 cup of water and give everything a good mix. Add the washed lentils and mix well. Add a little salt , garam masala and cook this under a cover. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little more water and then let it continue cooking under a cover.
Meanwhile discard the water the rice was soaking in and add 1/2 tbsp oil to the rice and water and start cooking the rice. Bring it to a good boil and lower the heat and keep a lid on it. Let it cook for another 5 mins or till the rice is 80% cooked. Discard the water and spread the rice on a plate or a bigger container so that it stops cooking any further.
Now check if the lentils are cooked. Divide the lentils and add the rice and if desired layer the rice and the lentils. Add the rest of the ghee some mint leaves and coriander leaves and put a lid on top of the pan. Lower the heat and let it cook for another 10 mins. By now the rice will get cooked under steam.
Reserve some fresh coriander leaves for garnish if desired. Garnish the pulao and serve it warm with a tangy raita.