Jeera rice and dhal curry
Aromatic jeera rice – studded with cumin seeds and topped with herbs – is simpler than a biryani, making it perfect for quick weeknight dinners
300g (1½ cups) basmati rice
Large handful of fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds
Large pinch of brown mustard seeds
Greek-style yogurt (optional), coriander sprigs (optional) and lime wedges, to serve
Diced tomato, cucumber and red onion seasoned with lime juice and salt, to serve
2 tbsp ghee
½ large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp medium-hot curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
175g small split red lentils
450ml chicken stock
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
For dhal, heat ghee in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 10 mins.
Add spices and stir until toasted, 2 mins, then add lentils and stir to combine.
Add stock, tomato and 600ml water and bring to a simmer, then simmer until lentils are tender, topping up with water if it’s getting too thick, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place rice in a saucepan and cover with 2cm water.
Bring to the boil, stir once or twice, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10-12 mins.
Turn off heat, set aside covered for 5 mins, then fluff with a fork.
Heat ghee over medium heat, add curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds in a wide saucepan and stir until fragrant, 2 mins.
Add ghee and spices to rice, stir through, and season to taste.
Serve rice with dhal, yogurt, coriander, lime wedges and chopped tomato, cucumber and red onion salad.