|Lentil and Rice Pilaf|
1 cup long grain basmati rice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon clarified butter or ghee
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 green cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black peppers
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
3 cups hot water
1 cup fried onions (store bought or home made); I used French's Fried onions
1. Soak the rice and lentils in separate containers for 1 hour with cold water. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat with canola oil and clarified butter. Add the cinnamon, clove and cardamom and cook for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Now add the drained rice and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, till the rice is toasted and acquires a glossy finish. Add the drained lentils and the dried chili flakes and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add the black peppers, salt and 3 cups hot water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, the water will be absorbed and the lentil will be cooked but will still be firm tender.
3. Let the pilaf remain covered for another ten minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Add half the onions and mix lightly with the pilaf. Sprinkle the balance as a garnish.