I know culinary adventures are not generally a subject on this blog, but several of you have asked about the lentil, rice & kamut dish I’ve talked about cooking elsewhere. Kamut, otherwise known as khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain from Egypt with a hearty, chewy texture and a rich, nutty flavor. It pairs well with lentils in this dish inspired by an Indian favorite of mine, dhal.
I am very much an “eyeball the measurements” and “season as you go” kind of cook, but this time, I kept careful track of what I added, making sure to measure everything out and record those measurements. So here’s the recipe that I’ve devised. It’s vegetarian, and if you substitute oil for the butter, it can be Vegan as well. The lentils and kamut make the dish high in protein for a grain medley, and the rich textures, combined with the savory melange of garlic and spices are very pleasant.
1 cup kamut (khorasan wheat berries)
1 cup brown lentils
1 cup basmati rice
4 cups vegetable broth (a savory broth with little to no tomatoes works best)
1 clove garlic, finely diced
(I use 2 cloves. We love garlic here!)
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
a dash of white pepper
juice from half a lemon
(two packets of crystallized lemon juice also works nicely)
1 tablespoon butter (clarified is ideal, but you can get by without. Vegetable oil can be substituted for the butter, in which case you don’t need a full tablespoon, but just enough to lightly coat the garlic, onion & spice mixture to saute)
The night before:
Soak Kamut over night in water.
Soak lentils over night in a separate dish
Mince garlic and onion. Melt butter in a pan over a low heat. Saute garlic & onion in the butter. Add cardamon seeds to bring out their flavor. Just warm these up. Do not overcook.
Add onion, garlic, butter and cardamom mixture to vegetable broth. Add cumin and turmeric. Mix everything into the broth.
Drain and rinse the kamut and the lentils. Add to the vegetable broth & spice mix.
The kamut & lentils can be cooked traditionally or in a slow cooker.
If cooking in a traditional pot, bring just to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft. (this will take about 2 hours). The kamut, when cooked through, remains chewy, with a hearty, nutty texture.
The lentils & kamut will not fully soak up the broth.
Two hours into simmering the lentils & kamut, rinse, then steam the basmati. Once the basmati is cooked so the grains remain firm and not soggy or broken, slowly add the basmati to the lentil & kamut mixture. Stir in gently, as basmati is a very delicate grain and breaks easily.
Simmer another 20-30 minutes, or until the basmati soaks up the remainder of the broth. Alternately, you can take the pot off the heat and cover it tightly, trapping the heat and allowing the grains to soak up the remainder of the broth.
Garnish with thinly sliced leaves of spinach, gently steamed.
Elyria likes hers with a little side of low fat cottage cheese.
Cook lentils, kamut & broth mixture on low for 4-6 hours. Prepare basmati separately, as above. Gently mix basmati into the lentil & kamut mixture at the end, once the lentils are cooked through. (cooking the basmati along with the lentils & kamut will result in mush. This rice does not hold up to long hours in a slow cooker!)
Leave on low for no more than minutes, then turn off the heat.
I’ve cooked this both with a traditional pot & with a slow cooker. I prefer the slow cooker for the ease of just walking away & letting the crockpot do its work.
Although I have not tried this with quinoa, I think this other ancient grain would be a nice addition.