Red Lentil and Cauliflower Tomato Pulao

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Red Lentil and Cauliflower Tomato Pulao

Nourishing and balanced one-pot meals are a blessing, especially when the temperatures are soaring and the desire for cooking is not as pronounced as it is during the cooler months. At the same time, this is a comforting meal that would be satisfying anytime of year.

This straightforward preparation includes lentils, rice, and one of my favorite vegetables, cauliflower. Local produce is just beginning to pop up in the markets and there will be much more to come. In the meantime, this dish with a variety of textures and tangy and spicy Indian flavors has everything you need with most of the ingredients being staples in a cook's kitchen. Each bite is unique and you don't need much else for a thoroughly satisfying dinner. Take care not to overcook the vegetables to maintain freshness and that delightful crunch that really does make each bite a pleasure.

lentil cauliflower pulao

Red Lentil and Cauliflower Tomato PulaoRed Lentil and Cauliflower Tomato Pulao
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on July 7, 2015

Colorful, nourishing and delicious rice with red lentils, tangy tomatoes and fresh tender cauliflower seasoned with Indian spices

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

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  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • small handful of dried curry leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower, trimmed into roughly 1 1/2 inch florets
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup green peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Rinse the lentils and rice and soak in water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the curry leaves and cloves. Stir and fry for about 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and chilies and cook for another minute. Toss in the spices, stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant, and then add the tomatoes. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so, stirring often, until the tomato has thickened.

  • Add the cauliflower, lentils, and rice and stir for another minute.

  • Pour in the water, bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the peas, gently mix, then reduce the heat to low and cover again. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender, about 7 minutes.

  • Stir in the lemon juice, turn off the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Toss with a fork and serve garnished with cilantro if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Red Lentil and Cauliflower Tomato Pulao

More cauliflower dishes to enjoy:
Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes)
Aloo Gobi with Chickpeas - A Twist on a Classic
Greek-Style Cauliflower Gratin with Feta and Olives
Spicy Urad Dal with Cauliflower and Peas

On the top of the reading stack: Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment--and Your Life


Joanne said...

I love that this has all the components of a complete meal! Sounds delicious.

Hayley said...

Hi Lisa
I love this kind of recipes too, when temperatures are high and don't want to cook a lot :) Thanks for linking it to MLLA#85.