Even though rice is a staple for us Keralites, I like to have it twice a week. On Fridays, I cook biriyanis or something on those lines and on Saturdays, it is normal lunch of matta rice, curry, fish fry and vegetable stir fry. On other days, I don’t cook lunch since there is nobody to eat at home nor does anybody want to carry rice in their tiffin, so mostly I make extra dinner to be carried over for next day’s lunch. Most of the time, I like to keep my experiments for Friday lunch and keep it simple on Saturdays, since my kids love a homely lunch and I want to make sure that I give that at least once a week, though at times I hate the work that comes with it – call me lazy! 😉
I have already shared a few recipes that belong to Persian cuisine and this one is another one. I got the reference to this recipe through one of my favorite cookbooks, “Silk Road Vegetarian” – I did mention about it in my Naan Berenji post. I am a big fan of anything with apricots in it – it happens to be one of my favorite dry fruits, so as soon as I saw the recipe, I had to try it. The book had used oil and brown rice but I kept it as close to their normal preparation as possible. The color of the rice comes from the caramelized onions and the bites of the lentils, apricots and raisins gives it a distinctive taste. Mind it, not everybody will like the slight sweetness of this dish. B wasn’t excited about having it though HD loved it – Alhamdulillah for his adjusting tongue! The kids love it with the raisins rather than with the apricots! But then you can’t please everybody, right? 😉 Pair it up with Mast-o-Khiar and you are ready for a simple meal, but if you need something to chomp by it, then have a piece of grilled chicken or fish too!
Adas Polo/ Pulow ~ Persian Lentil Rice
- 1/2 cup green/ brown lentils I used green
- 50 gm butter divided
- 1 cardamom bruised
- 2 inch pc cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper powder
- 1 cup basmati rice washed, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
- 450 ml hot water
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricot
- 1/4 cup raisins
- A pinch saffron soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
- Wash the lentils. Boil in water for around 15 minutes. Drain.
- In a large saucepan, heat half the butter. Fry the cardamom, cinnamon and cumin briefly.
- Add the onion along with sugar and some salt and start frying till caramelized. The sugar will give the onions a nice color.
- Add the drained lentils and pepper powder and saute for a minute.
- Add in the drained rice and saute for five minutes till crispy.
- Add in the water and allow it to boil. Adjust the salt.
- Reduce the flame to the minimum. Add the remaining butter, apricots and raisins into the rice and mix.
- Keep on closed lid. Midway, sprinkle the saffron water and give a stir.
- Continue to cook on closed lid undisturbed till the rice is completely done.