This would easily serve 6 – 8. The accompaniments are essential, the rice and lentils alone would be far too bland. Besides, lots of little dishes on the table to help yourself from is always fun. Whilst there are lots of ingredients, it’s quite quick and easy to throw together. Adapted from a Charmaine Solomon recipe.

Rice with lentils
3 tablespoons rice bran oil (or ghee)
5 bruised cardamon pods
4 cloves
1 piece cinnamon bark
4 large onions, sliced
2cm piece ginger, grated
1 fresh red or green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
500g basmati rice
500g peas (I used frozen)
5 cups hot water
coriander to garnish
2 tomatoes, diced and sprinkled with salt
1 cucumber, deseeded and diced
plain yoghurt
lime pickles
mango chutney
chilli sauce

  1. In a fry pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the  oil or ghee. Add onions, cardamon pods and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until onions are brown. Remove from heat and place in a bowl to serve as an accompaniment.
  2. In a large dutch oven or saucepan, heat the remaining oil. Add ginger, chilli and cumin seeds, fry until fragrant. add lentils, turmeric and cumin. Fry for another minute.
  3. Add rice, peas and water. Stir to combine. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for half an hour.
  4. Top with chopped coriander to serve