This is another dish that my kids love. It’s the ultimate comfort food. I don’t tell them how good it is for them!! This dish has dozens of variations all over Asia and the Middle East. This recipe is close to the one that I remember as a child -the ‘Iraqi Kitchri.’
Chickpeas and lentils are an excellent food choice. Their nutritional composition includes complex carbohydrates (e.g. fibre, resistant starch, oligosaccharides), vegetable protein, important vitamins and minerals like folate and iron as well as antioxidants and only very small amounts of fats. They have about twice the protein content of cereal grains. As well, a one-cup serving of Chickpeas and lentils provides almost half of the daily amount of fibre recommended for Canadians. They also have a low glycemic index, which has several health benefits
• 1.5 cups of basmati rice
• 1.5 cups red lentils
• 3 cups water or chicken broth
• 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed.
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 large (540 mL) can of chickpeas. (I prefer ‘Cedar’ brand.)
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 teaspoon pepper
• 3 tablespoons cooking oil, vegetable, canola or sunflower.
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, preferably Middle Eastern and extra virgin
• Plain yogurt
1. Rinse rice, drain well in colander and set aside in a bowl.
2. Rinse red lentils, drain well in colander and set aside in a bowl.
3. Dissolve 3 tablespoons tomato paste and the salt in the water (or chicken broth).
4. Drain can of chickpeas in colander and set aside
5. Heat cooking oil in pot and place in pepper. Fry for 20 seconds.
6. Add crushed garlic to oil and fry for 20 seconds. Do not burn!
7. Add rice to oil and mix well for 1-2 minutes. Add more oil if needed.
8. Add the tomato paste/salt/water (or chicken broth) mixture to the pot and stir well.
9. Add chickpeas to the pot.
10. Add red lentils to the pot and bring to boil
11. Once it boils, turn down heat to medium/half (or lower if necessary).
12. Set timer to 15 minutes.
13. Turn off and pour contents of pot into separate large bowl.
14. Add olive oil to bowl and mix well.
15. Serve with or without yogurt on top.