Cooking Rice and Lentils in 20 minutes may seem like magic to most. However, let me tell you it is doable!
My usual serving is white rice, and served with Mong and Masur Daal, with Tarka. The sides are Raita, Pappar and of course Shami Kebab!
So let’s begin…
20 minutes to go…
I always cook 2 cups of rice. My life saver is the Rice Cooker from Hamilton Beach.
This basic rice cooker has allowed me to even teach my 12 year old to start rice, while I am not at home. So the first step for myself is to wash 2 cups of white Shan rice, and add the clean rice and 4 cups of water to the Rice Cooker, and get on with other tasks.
18 minutes to go…
I take 2 cups of Mix Lentils, that can be found in any South Asian grocery store. Or, alternatively, I take 2 cups Masoor Daal and 1 cup Mong Daal, and wash it. This I add to my T-fal pressure cooker, and cup the Lentils with water, until fully soaked. Usually its 2 inches of water above the Lentil. The spices I use are my hisab sae (as per taste), Red Chilli powder, Dhania/Corriander Powder, Haldi/Tumeric Powder and 2 cubes of Knorr Chicken Cubes. Cover the Pressure cooker, and let it heat up. Once the whistel starts, wait 2-3 minutes, and turn the cooker off. No need to rush, this cool.
12 minutes to go…
I am accounting for the fact that this time is after starting the Cooker, and not the actual cooking time.
I will now mix up raita, which is simply Yoghurt, Cumin Seeds, Salt and Chilli Powder.
I will also start making Pappar, which is so easy in the microwave. Simply put a kitchen roll tissue on the microwave plate. Spray one side of the Pappar with oil, and place this facing up on the tissue. Run the microwave for a minute, keeping an eye not to over-do. The time can be less, depending on your microwave’s power. Once you can see its done, simply take it out.
8 minutes to go…
I will start frying the frozen Shami Kebab. I do make Kebab one day, and it will last us almost a month. So another time saving tip. I am sure you can find ready-made Shami Kebabs in South Asian stores.
By this time the rice is almost done. Lentils have cooked and flame turned off. I can take the cover off of the Lentils to check if any further cooking is required (which is rare)
4 minutes to go…
On the side, I will heat oil in a small deep frying pan, and make the Tarka, inclusive of Cumin, Kari Leaves, and Red Whole Chillies. I often add fresh green chillies for taste. Cook until fragrant and hot!
Top off the Lentils with the heated Tarka.
1 minute to go..
Dish out the prepared Lentil, and Rice, and serve with the Raita, and Pappar. Shami Kebabs were already ready to go, if you hadn’t already started eating them while frying 😉
Some tips to consider:
You do become quicker, as you practice this sequence, so don’t give up the first time, if you are not done in 20 minutes.
DO NOT overcook the Lentils in the pressure cooker, or it will become limp.