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Baked Curried Brown Rice & Lentil Pilaf
“Pop this fast and fragrant vegetarian dish into the oven and forget it till the timer rings. Serve as a main course on a bed of wilted spinach to add color and maximize iron absorption or serve as a side with Turkish Chicken Thighs.”
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup brown basmati or brown jasmine rice
4¼ cups water
1 cup brown lentils
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
4⅛-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste, (see Note) or 1 tablespoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced
1Place rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350F.
2Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large ovenproof Dutch oven; add rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1½ minutes. (If using curry powder, add it now and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds.) Add water. Stir in lentils, garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, curry paste, if using, and salt; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the curry paste.
3Cover the pot tightly with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and bake until the rice and lentils are tender and all the water is absorbed, 50 to 55 minutes. Fluff with a fork, removing the cinnamon stick and ginger slices. Serve garnished with scallions.
Note: Red curry paste is a blend of chile peppers, garlic, lemongrass and galangal (a root with a flavor similar to ginger). Look for it in jars or cans in the Asian section of the supermarket or specialty stores.