This has got to be the best tastiest rice in the world!! I’m not a fan of rice, but this is one rice dish, I’ll gladly eat. Packed with dates, currants, lentils and fried onions, what’s not to love?! I season mine with olive oil, grapeseed oil, salt and saffron. Occasionally if I make a whole roasted chicken to go along with this rice, I’ll add my secret ingredient: pan drippings! It’s amazing. And if you leave out the pan drippings, this rice dish is VEGAN!!
1 cup brown lentils
3-4 cups basmati rice (you can adjust proportions)
2 cups dates (cut in half or thirds)
2 onions (sliced and fried)
1/2-3/4 cup of currants
salt, grapeseed oil, olive oil and saffron
Boil lentils for 20-30 minutes until soft and just splitting, but do not overcook.
In a separate pot, boil water in excess of rice. We are going to drain the rice, so the rice needs room to move when the water has boiled. If you want to soak your rice, you can soak it and rinse it several times for an hour and up to overnight in the refrigerator. Being that I’m lazy, I usually skip this. Also, I usually don’t wait for my water to boil before putting it in the water, lol, but you can wait until the water is boiling before adding the rice. You can salt the water as well. When the rice is cooked ‘al dente’, where it’s just done, but not too soft, you can drain the rice. This takes about 15 minutes. Be sure to test the rice from 10 minutes on. You do NOT want overcooked rice.
In the meantime, fry two onions in oil (I like grapeseed oil). This takes about 15 minutes. You want them very brown, but not burnt. Use extra oil to ensure they won’t burn. At the end of the browning process you can add olive oil to taste.
Pit and slice dates. I like to lightly fry the dates and currants in the left over oil from the onions. Be sure to watch them closely as currants will burn fast. Add a bit of ground saffron.
Time to assembled the rice:
Add a small ‘mountain’ of rice at the bottom or a large pot. Top with dates, currants, onions and lentils. Add layer of rice. Add sprinkling of salt, ground saffron, grapeseed oil and olive oil. Repeat till all ingredients are used up. Let sit for a few minutes so the flavors can mingle and for the saffron to color the rice. Then toss in the pot by flipping the pot towards you. Avoid mixing using a spoon. You do not want to break the rice. If your rice need a little more time to soften, put the lid on and leave it for 10 minutes. Serve with chicken or on it’s own.
Keeps very well in the refrigerator for days.
Be sure to keep Teyebeh in your thoughts as she is the one who shared this recipe with me. And guess what? I get your vote of approval as she has officially stated that she likes my adas polo better than her own!!!
And, be sure to share pictures of your finished dishes with me; I love to see what you are making!