Rice and dhal

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indian-meal-consisting-roti-rice-dal-vegetable-kofta-32193992One of the most easiest, healthy and time saving meals to prepare! Steamed Rice and dhal. A nutritious meal and easy on the digestive system. This meal originates from India. Dhal means lentils. You can add other tasty nutritious accompaniments as well – a tablespoon of plain yoghurt or Raita, fried or baked papadams, tomato salad or herbal chutney made with Coriander or Mint. Here is the recipe –

Steamed Rice for 2-4 people

1 1/2 cups of Basmati Rice (washed till water is clear and strain out water)

3-4 cups of boiling water

Salt to taste (optional)

Method:  In a cooking pot or saucepan, boil water. When boiling add the washed rice and salt.

Stir to prevent rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.

This could take about 5-10 minutes of cooking. Stir and check if grains are cooked.

Turn of heat.

Strain the rice through a colander. Stir the rice through so it doesn’t stick together.

Serve cooked rice in a Rice Serving Platter.


1 cup of red lentils or mix 1/2 cup of moong dhal with 1/2 cup of red lentils

3 cups of water

Salt to taste

1 level teaspoon tumeric or adjust less according to taste

Curry leaf (optional) a few sprigs

1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely sliced) (optional)

1/4 onion finely sliced

1 tablespoon oil

Method:  Wash lentils till water is clear and strain.

Put up a saucepan of water on the stove, add salt and allow to boil on low heat.

Add the washed lentils with the tumeric. Stir well and bring to the boil. Allow to cook for approx 15 mins till grains are soft.

You can puree the cooked lentils if you wish in a blender when cooled down or push it through a sieve. This is optional.

In a separate pan heat and add a little oil on very low heat. Add the sliced onions and allow to brown lightly, add the garlic and brown lightly, add the curry leaf. Add all these fried ingredients to the dhal and give a little stir. It will sizzle a bit, so take care, but this process actually adds more flavour to the dhal.

Serve in a bowl or tureen.

For added nutrition, you can add 1/2 cup of mixed finely chopped vegies of your choice and allow to cook for a few minutes. (Chopped carrot, a little cauliflower or finely chopped beans, or a little finely chopped eggplant).

Serve in a bowl or tureen.



In a small bowl mix in about a cup of natural yoghurt, beat with fork and add salt to taste, squeeze of lemon juice, a little fresh ground black pepper, a pinch of chilli powder (optional), 1/4 teaspoon of cummin.

Mix well together. Decorate with a sprig of mint leaves or coriander leaves.


Papadams can be purchased from Asian food stores. These are sold in packets, in small to medium sizes, of various flavours.

Papadams can be fried in a little oil, which turn crispy. Or you can crisp them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.





Lemon juice


Method: Slice finely tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. Mix well together and add the salad dressing.

You can add fresh herbs if you wish – a few sprigs of fresh coriander or mint.

Here is an image of how an Indian meal is served with various accompaniments to enhance taste and flavour to the meal. Serving a meal attractively also makes it look appetizing and tempting to eat!






A quick spicy nutritious meal

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nankhatai 051Steamed Rice with Spicy Dhall – Serves 2-4

Preparation and Cooking time: 1/2 hr.

Rice – 1 1/2 cups of Basmati rice or any rice of your choice

1 litre of water

1 teaspoon of Salt

  1. In a 2 litre pot, fill with water, bring to boil.
  2. Wash rice till water is clear.
  3. Add rice to water with a pinch of salt.
  4. Stir with wooden spoon to prevent rice from sticking to bottom of pot.
  5. Cook for around 5-10 minutes (depending on the instructions on packet)
  6. Strain through colander and rinse with cold water.


1 cup of Red Lentils or Yellow Split Peas


1 level teaspoon of Tumeric or Mild Curry Powder

  1. Wash dhall well till water is clear
  2. Add to a pot or a 1 litre saucepan of boiling water – 3 cups of water
  3. Add salt to taste
  4. Add the tumeric/curry powder
  5. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for around 10 minutes.

For more added flavour:  add 1 clove of peeled garlic, a few curry leaves and a teaspoon of curry paste

For more nutrition:  add 1 cup of finely diced  vegetables – potatoes, pumpkin, spinach or cauliflower.

Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes for vegetables.

Serving suggestions:  Spoon steamed rice on plates, add dhall.  Add fried Papadams 1-2 per person

Add a Salsa salad for more nutrition –

2-3 Diced tomatoes with finely diced onion, Coriander, salt to taste, squeeze of lemon. Mix well.

Cucumber Salad – finely sliced with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Add a few spoonfuls of Yoghurt or Raita.

1-2 cups of plain yoghurt

Beat with fork, add pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon juice. Optional – a dash of ground cummin powder. Mix well and serve.

Time saving tips:

While the rice and dhall are cooking (10 minutes approx), prepare the Raita, Salad and Fried Papadams.

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