Easy Lentils & Brown Rice Pulao

This recipe is my entry to the Canadian Lentil Recipe Revelation Challenge in the main dish category. You can show your support by liking my post &/ or my Pinterest post on this board. It might take a day to get posted on their board. Since I have only recently started blogging, I don’t have a lot of followers like other contestants who have been blogging for a long time. Popularity is one of the criteria for judging 😛 besides taste, appeal, simplicity & creativity. Deadline is Feb 23rd!!!!

I hope this recipe endears to people who love lentils and would be willing to give this recipe a shot.

Per serving: 243 cals | 9 g protein | 8 g fiber | 8 g total fat | 3 mg Iron | 55 mg Vitamin C | 400 mg Potassium

Lentils pulao

Variations: I chose brown rice for this recipe (better nutritional value) but you can use long grain white Basmati rice. You can add other vegetables such as carrot, broccoli, green peas etc but this time I wanted to glorify LENTILS & their flavor for the challenge & keep the recipe under 10 ingredients (besides salt & oil)! This recipe is simple yet nutritious.  🙂 This dish is quite filling and easy to pack for lunch!

I usually pressure cook my lentils without soaking as the cooking time is very short. However, without pressure cooker, soaking will help reduce cooking time. For this challenge, I have tried stove top cooking for reaching a wider audience. I have used un-soaked lentils to experience what it would be like to come home from work & cook lentils when I haven’t been able to soak them beforehand. However, I am listing the cooking time required for different methods so it is easier to pick one per your convenience.

Time required:

Chopping of vegetables, rinsing lentils & rice: 5 minutes

Cooking time with pressure cooker, no soaking necessary: 10 minutes on low heat after 1st whistle (Indian pressure cooker such as Prestige) or 10 minutes on low heat after pressure regulator begins to rock (US pressure cooker such as Presto)

Cooking time on stove top, with soaking for 2-3 hours or longer: 20-25 minutes

Cooking time on stove top, without soaking: 40-45 minutes

Lentils pulao 2

Ingredients (4 servings)

1/2 cup whole brown lentils

1/2 cup brown Basmati rice

1/2 medium size (2″ diameter) onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, diced

1″ or 2 tsp ginger, chopped & mashed

3 large cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, leaves & stalks, chopped

1/2 tsp red chili powder/ paprika

1/8 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tbsp canola oil

Salt to taste

Cilantro for garnishing


Wash and rinse the lentils and brown rice separately. Chop the onion, ginger & garlic & dice the red pepper. Mash the ginger or you can use ready-made ginger paste.


Heat oil in a non-stick pot and add the chopped onion. Saute it for a minute on medium heat and then add chopped garlic and ginger paste. Saute till the onion becomes light brown.

When the onion develops a nice aroma and has become light brown, add the lentils, red chili powder, cinnamon powder & chopped cilantro. Mix well and saute for a minute as the flavors of the spices are enhanced in the oil. Remember to include chopped cilantro stalks as they are packed with flavor.



Then add 2.5 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Since we are using 1/2 cup each of rice and lentils (total 1 cup), we need 2.5 times water. If lentils were soaked or if we were pressure cooking the rice & lentils, we would need only 2 cups water. When the water starts to boil, lower the heat and let the lentils simmer for about 10 minutes. Cover it with a lid in a way that the steam is allowed to escape and does not cause contents to overflow.

After 10 minutes, add the rice and diced bell pepper & salt. Since lentils take longer time to cook than rice, we allow an extra time for the lentils before we add rice. Otherwise, the rice would get too soggy. Continue to cook the rice & lentils on low heat in the same manner till done. It will take another 30 minutes or so.


You can close the lid of the pot after much water is absorbed. This can expedite the cooking.

Check if the rice & lentils are cooked. Adjust the salt if needed & serve with a garnish of fresh cilantro, whole or chopped. You can even serve it with a nice side salad or just enjoy it plain. Pack away the rest for your lunch.

Enjoy & like my post on my blog or Facebook profile or page. Thank you! 🙂 Will keep you posted!

Lentils pulao4







6 thoughts on “Easy Lentils & Brown Rice Pulao

  1. Pingback: NOURISHING CARROT SOUP (antioxidants, fiber & low calories!!) | Quickly Delicious

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