Baked, Spiced Basmati Rice and Lentil Pilaf with Kasundi

, from Issue #111. September, 2023
Photography by Yuki Sato.
Baked, Spiced Basmati Rice and Lentil Pilaf with Kasundi

This one-pan baked rice gets a heap of flavour from the kasundi and is perfect for midweek dinners.

PREP: 8 minutes  COOK: 35 minutes  SCALE: easy

Serves: 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
sea salt and ground pepper
¼ cup purchased kasundi, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1⅓ cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
⅓ cup split red lentils
650ml hot vegetable stock (I use 2 stock cubes)
1 tablespoon cream, optional
1 cinnamon stick

thick plain yoghurt
chopped roasted cashew nuts
finely chopped parsley or coriander
warm gluten free flatbread, paratha or naan breads


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof frying pan and gently cook the onions, garlic, curry powder and the cumin seeds with a good pinch of salt for 8 minutes, adding a splash of water if the pan is too dry.

Stir in the kasundi and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute then stir in the rice and lentils. Season well with salt and pepper and stir in the stock and cream then nestle in the cinnamon stick.

Place in the oven and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Take out and give it a good but gentle stir then cook for another 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Take out, cover with a lid and leave for 5 minutes.

TO SERVE: Top with dollops of yoghurt and kasundi, cashew nuts and parsley or coriander. Serve with warm breads.