Rice with split gram Lentils (Qabooli)


Preparation time: 10 minutes         

Serves: 8            

Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • 3 cups long grain pearl pishori rice – soak for 10 minutes
  • ½ cup yellow split gram lentils (channe kid al)- soak for 20 minutes
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 3 onions – finely sliced, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1tsp red chilli powder
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons, a few springs of fresh green coriander – chopped
  • ¾ cup oil, 2 tbsp melted butter, ¼ cup milk
  • Grind or crush to a powder
  • ½ piece cinnamon (dalchini), 2-3 green cardamoms (chhoti illaichi)
  • ½ tsp black cumin seeds (shah jeer), ½ tsp peppercorns (sabut kali mirach)


Boil 1 cup water with ¼ tsp salt and a pinch of turmeric. Add split gram, lentils and cook on low heat till tender. Strain an keep aside.

Boil a large painful of water (10-12 cups). Add 2tsp salt to the boiling water. Add pearl pishori rice & stir to mix well. Boil till 80% cooked (soft, yet chewy). Strain. Leave in the strainer for a minute and then spread the rice on a tray.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the onions till golden brown. Remove half of the onions for later use and set aside. Add ginger and garlic to the onions in the wok and stir. Add turmeric and stir. Reduce heat.

Add yogurt and stir briskly and cook for about 5 minutes. Add split gram lentils and red chilli powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Check salt!

Take a heavy-bottomed pan and brush the bottom with a little oil. Spread half of the pearl pishori rice. Spread the split gram lentils over the pearl pishori rice. Sprinkle the ground spices. Also spread half of the mint, coriander and green chillies and lemon juice. Cover with remaining pearl pishori rice. Sprinkle the milk, the fried onions and balance of the mint, coriander and the lemon juice and dot the pearl pishori rice with melted butter.

Cover with foil. Keep on a hot griddle for 5 minutes on medium heat. Reduce heat. Let the pearl pishori rice cook on low heat for 10 minutes till the pearl pishori rice is cooked and steaming.