Lentil and Rice Pilaf with Toasted Cumin Seeds
4 to 6 servings
1/2 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup uncooked white basmati rice
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Stir lentils into a medium saucepan of boiling water. Boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes; drain.
Heat oil in a large saucepan or deep skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cumin seeds and cook just until sizzling. Add lentils along with rice, vegetable stock and salt.* Bring to a boil, stir once, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the stock is absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast chopped walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle over the pilaf and serve.
*This is what is written in "The Joy of Cooking: All About Vegetarian Cooking," but my experience with lentils is that they don't cook or soften as nicely when you add salt to the water. I suggest leaving the salt out until the rice and lentils are fully cooked.