What Is Lentil Pilaf?
Lentil pilaf is a dish made with lentils and rice, cooked with various spices and seasonings. It is a popular dish in many cuisines around the world, including Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine. Lentil pilaf can be served as a main dish or side dish.
How To Make The Best Lentil Pilaf at Home?
Here are some tips to make the best lentil pilaf at home:
- Choose high-quality lentils. Look for lentils that are clean, without any signs of mold or moisture.
- Soak the lentils. If you choose to soak, drain and rinse the lentils before using them in the recipe.
- Toast the lentils and spices. This helps to intensify their flavors. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, add the lentils and spices, and toast them for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Use aromatics for flavor. Sauté aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, and ginger in oil or butter until they become translucent and fragrant.
- Add extra flavor with stock or broth: Instead of plain water, use vegetable, chicken, or beef stock to cook the lentils. The stock adds depth of flavor.
- Sauté the vegetables with the aromatics or stir them in after adding the lentils.
- Cook them until they are tender but still hold their shape. Avoid overcooking. This leads to mushy lentils.
- After cooking, let the lentil pilaf rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the pilaf to become more flavorful.
What To Serve with Lentil Pilaf?
Lentil pilaf can be served as a main dish or side dish. You can serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. It goes well with grilled chicken or salmon. You can serve this lentil pilaf with sautéed vegetables and salad.
Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Lentil Pilaf:
How To Store Lentil Pilaf?
To store lentil pilaf, allow the lentil pilaf to cool to room temperature. Transfer the pilaf to an airtight container. Place the airtight container with the lentil pilaf in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Store it in the refrigerator for 3 days.
If you need to store it for a longer period, you can freeze the pilaf. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it thoroughly before serving.
How To Reheat Lentil Pilaf?
Before serving stored lentil pilaf, reheat it thoroughly to a safe internal temperature. You can reheat it in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven, depending on your preference. Add a little bit of water or broth if needed to prevent drying out.
Stovetop method: Place the pilaf in a saucepan or skillet. Add a splash of water or broth to the pan to moisten the pilaf. Cover the pan with a lid to trap the steam. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pilaf is heated through. This method allows for even heating and helps prevent the pilaf from drying out.
Oven method: Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Place the lentil pilaf in an oven-safe dish or covered baking pan. Add a little water or broth to the dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil or a lid. Place the dish in the oven and heat for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the pilaf is heated through. Check the pilaf occasionally to prevent it from drying out.
Microwave method: Transfer the lentil pilaf to a microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of water or broth to the dish. Cover the dish loosely with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat in the microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes at a time, stirring in between, until the pilaf is heated evenly. Do not overcook or dry out the pilaf.