One word about the texture though. As Moudardara essentially means scattered, it is more like a biryani rather than being mushy like a khichidi. So, do not go overboard with the water and the stirring. Remember that we an always add a little bit of moisture whenever needed.
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 40-45 mins
- 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1 1/2 cup mixed lentils ( I used kidney beans, red lentils and horsegram )
- 2 medium sized onions (sliced finely)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp peppercorn
- 1/2 tsp all spice powder
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp EVOO
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 pinch saffron
Preparation - Wash and soak the lentils overnight.
Crush the cumin and peppercorn into a coarse mix. Soak the saffron in the warm milk.
Cooking - Cook the lentils in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. They should be just cooked and firm to touch. Drain the excess water but do not throw it away.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions and fry on low heat till they turn brown. Remove half of these onions from wok and keep aside.
Add the washed rice, cooked lentils, crushed spices, all spice and salt to the same wok. Mix together and cook for 2-3 mins till the rice grains are well coated with oil.
Add the drained water from the lentils and some more such that it just stands a few millimeters above the rice.
Bring to a boil and then let it simmer while covered till rice is almost done. Stir gently once or twice during the cooking.
Add the saffron along with the milk. Cook till the excess moisture disappears.
Mix in the remaining caramelized onions.
Serve with plain yogurt or a raita.