Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Mesopotamian Rice Salad with Green Lentils, Dates and Raisins
This recipe is adapted from Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij. There are lot of dishes I have tried and loved from this book, but the most frequently made recipe at my home from this book is the Mesopotamian Rice Salad with Green Lentils, Dates and Raisins. This dish is actually a very healthy and has a tangy taste. I have taken liberties with the ingredients, the measurements used as well as method of cooking as usual depending on what I desired to eat today and speed up the cooking.
Basmati Rice - 3/4 cup
Dried Brown Lentils - 1/4 cup
Red Onion - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Peas - 1/2 cup
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Dates - 3 to four sliced.
Water - 2 1/4 cup
Coriander Leaves/ Cilantro - a fistful
Salt to Taste
Bell Pepper - 1/2 cup
Shredded Green - 2 cups
Flat Leaf Parsley - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2 Cloves Finely Chopped
Lemon Juice - 3 tbsp
Salt - 2 pinches
Ground Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp (You can use regular chili Powder)
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
In a medium sized pan, heat 1 tsp of oil (you can use olive oil here too or ghee), and add the lentils and rice and fry for 2 minutes. Then add water and salt and let it boil on medium heat. Once the water is boiling add the peas, stir once and then cover and cook for another 20 minutes until the water evaporated on low to medium heat. Remove from heat and let it cool. The lentil should be soft and break on pressure, but not mushy You can cook the rice and lentil separately or use a rice cooker or any other method you use to cook rice.
Once the rice is cool, add the dates, raisins, onion (bell pepper if using) and mix well.
To make the salad dressing combine all the salad dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, garnish with cilantro. You can use parsley instead of cilantro and serve it optionally on a bed of greens.