Lentil and Rice Pilaf by Kausar Ahmed

Lentil and Rice Pilaf.jpg

Episode 46: Kausar Ahmed

Active time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

  • 1 cup split black gram (kaali daal), sorted of debris and rinsed

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¾ cup long-grain white basmati rice

  • 2 cups water

  • ¼ teaspoon saffron, soaked in 1 teaspoon milk


  • 2 eggs, hardboiled and sliced

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced and fried brown and crispy

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

  • 2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise

  • Raita (yogurt sauce)


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and add onions. Fry over medium heat; stir often until onions are golden-brown. Add ginger and garlic. Add water, split black gram (kaali daal), salt, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, coriander, and allspice. Cover and let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes on medium heat until lentils are half-tender to bite.

  2. Stir in the basmati rice and 2 more cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, gently stirring from sides, until rice is tender to bite and liquid is absorbed (13 to 15 minutes). Add the saffron with milk. Cover, let simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced hardboiled eggs, fried onion, cilantro, and green chilies, and serve with Raita.

Reprinted from The Karachi Kitchen: Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan.

Brian Stewartrecipe