lentil rice

Lentil Rice Pilaf

By Swasthi on May 30, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

One pot lentil rice pilaf made in Indian Style with basmati rice, veggies, spices and herbs. This is packed with flavor, deliciousness and is protein-rich. Make this in a pot or in a pressure cooker for a healthy and satiating meal. This Lentil rice pilaf can be served on its own with out any sides. But raita or plain yogurt make great sides.

lentil rice pilaf

This recipe uses chana dal aka split chickpeas, which are the split lentils from the whole black chickpeas. But feel free to use any lentils of choice.

Chana dal is skinned and split lentil made from desi variety of chickpeas known as Kala chana. These are a staple in the Indian cuisine and are used in various dishes, from curries to snacks and appetizers like this masala vada.

This lentil is also used to make chutneys, stir fry dishes and in tempering while making South Indian dishes.

You can also make this dish without veggies. But to perk up the nutrition I use carrots or beets. I have cooked the dish in water, the same way as we cook pulao dishes. To make it rich, you can also use thin coconut milk (not from can, coconut milk from carton goes well for this).

More Rice & Lentil Dishes
Bisi Bele Bath
Sambar Rice
Ven Pongal

How to Make Lentil Rice Pilaf (Stepwise Photos)

1. Wash and soak dal for about 4 to 6 hours. This helps not only to cook well but is also lighter for digestion. Wash and soak rice for about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain off and set aside.

2. Saute cumin, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon and mace until they begin to sizzle.

3. Fry sliced onions until lightly golden.

4. Next fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes off.

5. Saute carrots and pudina /mint leaves for 2 minutes.

6. Transfer rice and chana dal.

7. Add salt.

8. Pour water.

9. Cook on a medium flame until water is almost evaporated.

10. Cover the pot with a lid and cook until done. If making in pressure cooker, cover the lid and lower the flame. Cook just for 5 minutes. Switch off before the cooker whistles. When the pressure goes off, add coriander leaves and little lemon juice. If using right away i suggest adding little ghee.

Serve chana dal pulao with raita or salad.

lentil rice pilaf

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Recipe Card

lentil rice pilaf

Lentil Rice Pilaf

Lentil rice pilaf is a protein packed one pot dish made with fragrant rice, whole spices, lentils, vegetables and herbs.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup rice uncooked
  • ½ cup chana dal (split chickpeas/bengal gram)
  • 2 ¼ cup water
  • 1 large carrot (¾ cup)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 green chili slit (skip for kids or deseedand use)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 handful pudina or mint
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp cumin or jeera
  • ½ star anise
  • 1 strand mace (optional)
  • 2 green cardamoms or elaichi
  • 1 inch cinnamon or dalchini
  • 1.5 tbsp oil
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • coriander leaves chopped, few


How to Make Lentil Rice

  • Wash and soak chana dal for 4 to 6 hours and rice for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pot and fry spices until they begin to crackle.
  • Add onions and fry until lightly done. Next add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell is gone.
  • Transfer veggies and pudina, saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add soaked and drained rice and dal. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour water salt and cook until the rice is done. Towards the end, when the water is almost absorbed, cover and simmer on a low flame. If using pressure cooker, cover and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  • When the pressure is down, sprinkle lemon juice and coriander leaves.


The quantity of water mentioned in the recipe works only if dal is soaked for at least 4 hours. Otherwise more water may be required.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Lentil Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 647 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 111mg5%
Potassium 667mg19%
Carbohydrates 112g37%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 180IU4%
Vitamin C 10.9mg13%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 5.3mg29%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Lentil Rice Pilaf

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
I tried the pulao yesterday and it turned out very nice and it’s a quick one pot meal and healthy too !

I just added some turmeric powder for colour ?

5 stars
Does this work with kabuli chana ?

5 stars
Sooo good!

4 stars
I love all your recipes. It has just been a month that I have started following your recipes I started with toddler food.first. Your food chart for babies really helped me a lot. I would like to thank you for all the information. It is very simple and easy to remember recipes shown by you.

Thanks a lot. i just love the way you provide information and all the recipes are so simple & tasty.


simple and healthy pulav

delicious pulao.

Dearest Swasthi, Thanks for a fabulous yameeeeeee recipes of it;s own kind.I am a valued subscriber of your recipe blog.Since Me is alone (single) living in Dubai and preparing my own food every day.You are my main tutor who assisting me in preparing a most yamee and tasty meal.God bless you………Turly care for me…..Thanks once again…….

4 stars
Looks so tempting. .love this one pot meal.