Lentil Pilaf (Part 2).

Monthly Dinner Digest: Lentil Pilaf (part 2)


This June at The Atelier, we reflected on the preciousness of life.

Over the past month, we heard the unfortunate news about the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, two unique lives that ended in tragedy (and highlight the greater importance of mental health care and support). We accidentally became witness to nature’s beauty and mystery as life unfolded before our eyes, as retold in the half fictional piece Lentil Pilaf. We also fell in love & ate our way through Italy in Latte Macchiato.

Most importantly, we shared with those around us, we stayed open to the power of storytelling, and embraced the beauty and joy of everyday experiences and mysteries, because Life is a gift.

Lentil Pilaf 

240 mL (1 cup) dried lentils (green, brown or red)

480 mL (2 cups) water

1 spoonful olive oil

1 can chopped tomatoes (about 425 mL)

3-4 garlic cloves (fresh, and coarsely chopped)

1  small onion (coarsely chopped)

1 small handful fresh ginger (skin removed, coarsely chopped, adjust for taste preference and brevity)

1 heaping spoonful curry powder (adjust for taste preference, boldness and brevity)

1 generous pinch dried basil (or fresh chopped basil)

salt & pepper (to taste)

1. Begin Pilaf preparation by slicing, chopping and dicing the garlic cloves, onion, fresh ginger & fresh basil (fresh basil optional).

2. In a skillet, sauté garlic cloves, onion, ginger, curry powder, basil until soft. Set aside.

3.Place dried Lentils in pot with 480 mL (2 cups water), add 2-3 pinches salt (optional), cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiled, turn heat down to low, and continue to cook lentils (uncovered) for 15 minutes.

4. After 15 minutes, add sautéed mixture  (garlic, onion, ginger, curry, basil) into the lentils, add can of tomatoes and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Lentils should be soft to taste, and neither overly hard nor too mushy.

5. Plate Lentil Pilaf by serving over jasmine rice, with cucumber salad on the side. Serves 1 or 2 (depending on how hungry, generous or greedy you are feeling. But sharing is always encouraged). Garnish with fresh basil, salt & pepper if desired.

Jasmine Rice

240 mL (1 cup) jasmine rice

480 mL (2 cups) water

1. Rinse rice under cold water (separately) to remove starch & then drain.

2. Place 480 mL (1 Cup) water and rinsed rice in a large pot with a lid.

3. Bring water (and rice) to a boil on high. Once boiled, stir rice, turn heat to low-medium heat, tilt lid so a bit of air can get into the pot and let rice cook (until all the water is absorbed, +/- 8 minutes total). Stir occasionally.

4. Once cooked, set rice aside to serve with Lentil Pilaf. Serves 1 or 2 (only if you like to share).

Cucumber Salad
1/2 (large) cucumber, diced
3 heaping spoonfuls yogurt (plain)
salt & pepper (to taste)
basil (several pinches, to taste -optional-)
1. In a bowl, mix yogurt, cucumber, basil, salt & pepper. Serves 1 or 2 (if you like to share).