Lentil-basmati pilaf

Total Time
58 min
11 min
47 min
Curry powder, cinnamon, and cloves give this main-dish pilaf a satisfying warming flavor. Most larger supermarkets carry brown basmati rice and canned lentils on the rice and beans aisle. If you can’t find them, use long-grain brown rice and a can of black beans. You will need to buy one 32-ounce carton of vegetable broth to have enough for this recipe. Serve this fragrant pilaf with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and chopped fresh parsley or cilantro. If you want to bump up the heat, add a good pinch of cayenne along with the curry powder or use hot curry powder.


Olive oil

2 tsp


1 medium, chopped


2 clove(s), minced

Curry powder

1 tsp

Uncooked basmati rice

1 cup(s), brown variety

Vegetable broth

3½ cup(s), reduced-sodium

Bay leaf

2 leaf/leaves

Cinnamon stick

1 average, (4-inches)

Whole cloves

oz, 2 cloves

Dried lentils

1 pound(s), canned, rinsed and drained

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Fresh parsley

2 Tbsp, fresh, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring to coat, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is almost tender, 30–35 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lentils, salt, and pepper; cook until the lentils are heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Sprinkle with the parsley. Yields about 1 cup per serving.