22 May Persian Rice Pilaf with Lentils and Shredded Sweet Potato
This Persian-inspired rice pilaf is another meal I enjoyed while I was at a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat.
If you’re in the mood for an easy recipe that is flavourful, satisfying, and sweet this is for you! This is a great recipe to make at the beginning of a busy week in case you need leftovers to keep yourself going or if you’re hosting a summer BBQ. Let’s dig in.
This week’s feature ingredients are rice and lentils.
When these two are combined they create a powerhouse, a complete protein to provide you with all the right nutrients to help restore the body and leave you with lasting energy.
Basmati rice comes from India. It’s actually one of my favourite types of rice. Basmati translates in Hindu to “fragrant.” With this being said, it provides a wonderful flavour and base for this recipe. Since this rice became a huge part of the cultural exchange it was eventually brought to the Middle East, and then began to spread throughout the world. Which is why I’m able to share with you this Persian-inspired rice pilaf with lentils and sweet potato. The rice provides a lot of energy for the body, brown rice offers a lot more health benefits due to it’s fibre and mineral content but I do like my white rice so that’s what I used today. Either way it’s important to buy organic rice because non-organic rice is so heavily sprayed. Your body will thank you for this choice.
The lentils in this recipe pair well with the rice because, as mentioned above, they create a complete protein. Complete proteins are important to consume because they contain all of the essential amino acids, which help to build, repair, and maintain healthy cells in the body. The lentils also provide a great source of B vitamins, fibre, magnesium, iron, and folate. In this recipe you can use brown or green lentils because they keep their shape when heated. Be sure to use unsoaked, dried lentils.
These ingredients help to balance the crown chakra which can create a feeling of hope, connection, and ability to surrender to the Universe. It has been my experience that this recipe will help bring your body back into alignment with your true self. After eating this for dinner, I was able to fall asleep in a new record breaking time. If you’re confused about the connection of your true self and ability to fall asleep, I recommend listening to this Yoga Nidra meditation.
This rice pilaf recipe starts with soaking the rice. This step is crucial as the rice is one of the feature elements of this dish so it’s important to get the right consistency. You want your rice to be separated after cooking, as opposed to a sticky consistency.
After the rice has been soaked and strained, sauté the onion and sweet potato, stir in the rice, and then add all of the remaining ingredients. It’s super simple and yet, so satisfying!
Bring mixture to a boil, cook, let sit, and garnish to serve warm. Happy cooking!
This rice pilaf is:
If you try this recipe leave a review below and share a photo with me @gillianelizab3th on Instagram. I love seeing what you guys come up with!
- 2 cups white Basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 1 small to medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup dates, chopped
- 1 cup green lentils
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Dash of ground cinnamon
- Pink Himalayan salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon wedge
- ½ orange, zested
- 3½ cups vegetable broth
- To garnish:
- Fresh cilantro or mint
- Toasted pine nuts
- Lemon wedges
- Place the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Cover bowl with a dish towel and allow the rice to soak for 2 hours.
- After soaking the rice, drain the rice in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly, until the water runs clear.
- Set the rice in the strainer on top of the large bowl and allow to drain while you heat the oil in a large pot.
- Sauté the onion and sweet potato on medium-high for about 2 to 3 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.
- Add the strained rice to the pot. Stir together the onion, sweet potato, and rice.
- Continue stirring until the rice becomes lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the raisins, dates, lentils, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, pepper, lemon juice, orange zest, and vegetable broth until combined.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 12 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the burner and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and garnish to serve.