serves 4 - 6
225 g (8 oz) long grain rice
225 g (8 oz) red lentils
750 ml (1 1/4 pints) tepid water
120 g (4 oz) butter, or 4 tbsps vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp grated fresh root ginger
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
2 green chillies, sliced in half lengthways
1. Wash the rice and lentils in 4 - 5 changes of cold water. Soak them in the tepid water for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
3. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf and fry for a further minute.
4. Drain the rice and lentils, reserving the water. Add the rice and lentils to the fried onions, together with the coriander, turmeric, salt and chillies.
5. Fry stirring constantly, for 2 - 3 minutes, until the rice is thoroughly coated with the oil.
6. Pour over the reserved water and stir well. Bring the liquid to the boil, then stir once and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
7. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 - 10 minutes, without stirring, until the water has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender.