Brazilians love to add all kinds of things to their rice, whether it be something simple like carrots or some nuts or a whole mix of different things like bacon, peppers, onions and parsley. Adding more ingredients to your rice adds color, flavor and more substance and is something I do on a regular basis. I love to add some meat or nuts to my rice as it gives so much more flavor, but also makes more of a meal out of the rice.
What is so nice about the brazilian rices is that usually the rice is cooked together with the added ingredients. For example, you cook the carrots together with the rice or mix nuts in the rice and cook together. This gives so much more flavor to the rice and does not require any extra steps!
Something else that I really like about mixing other ingredients with rice is that it can sometimes force me to eat things that I wouldn’t otherwise really eat. For example, lentils!
I like lentils, but I often struggle to find things to do with it. In my house the only dish that we really use lentils for is a hearty lentil soup with rice or barley, bacon or sausage and tomatoes. We love this soup, but sometimes a different recipe for lentils is very much welcomed.
So, we sometimes boil-up some lentils and mix them together with caramelized onions and rice. This makes for a really tasty rice and an excellent way to eat lentils!
Super quick and easy to make, the lentils are a good substitute for beans and gives you a really nice and hearty rice.
Since posting my very first rice recipe (here it is) I have become much more fluent with my rice making and actually do most measurements by eye now. I still measure out the rice, but the garlic, salt and water I don’t use any measurements for. So, as a reference for how to make the rice I have adapted my previous recipe to include some changes that I have made over time!
Making the rice
1 cup basmati, jasmine white rice a or long grain white rice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water
Wash the rice until the water runs clear and set aside to dry. Boil enough water for two cups. Crush the garlic. Place a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once olive oil is heated add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant; approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and stir for an additional 2-3 minutes making sure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the two cups of boiling water to the rice and the salt. Place a lid on the pan and cook until all the water has been cooked off, approximatel 10 minutes. Once the water has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat and stir the rice well. Keep the lid on the pan and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Making the lentils
1 cup of brown lentils
Place the lentils in a pan together with enough water. Make sure the water covers the lentils, approximately 2cm above the lentils. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until done. Once cooked remove from the heat and pour off the water.
Mixing the rice and the lentils
Chop one medium sized onion. Sautee together with olive oil for approximately 10 minutes, stirring regularly. You want the onions to begin to caramlize just a little bit. Add the cooked rice and the cooked lentils. Mix well. Add salt or pepper as needed.