Bell-pepper and cumin rice with Indian lentil soup (dal) – a simple comfort food ©Vanita HegdeIMG_2468

Cumin seeds must probably be one of the most popular spices in Indian kitchens. Cumin infused rice is one of the staple diet and preferred diet in most of the South Indian households. Cumin rice and a well made dal (Indian lentil soup) is one of the comfort and nutritionally rich food, taking care of your daily dose of proteins and carbohydrates. There is no single source of food, that provides all nine amino acids required for the growth and sustainability to the body. But when you combine the lentils with the meal (rice, roti etc), it will provide all required amino acids, so the combination of rice and lentils soup is an ideal food for children. The combination of dal and rice naturally complements each other and makes a complete meal.


This rice gets a minimum twist from the cumin rice, and gets mild pepper flavor from the bell pepper / capsicum. The two eminent and simple flavors and with bland cooked rice, creates the marvel, proving again, simple food is the preferred food.

spice box


Cumin & bell pepper rice:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 3 bell peppers of large size
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp mango powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger (about 1.2 inch of ginger)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups of water

Method  –  Step 1: Rinse and wash the rice thoroughly. Soak the rice with 4 cups of water for 15-30 minutes, and then cook until the rice grains turn soft in a covered wok or you can pressure cook them. Allow the rice to cool.

Step 2: Chop the bell pepper in to long strips and keep it aside

Step 3: In a thick bottomed tawa/wok, add coconut oil, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add ginger and saute it for less than 1/2 minute. Add chopped bell pepper, green chilies and stir fry them.

Step 4:  Add rice to the seasoning (step 3), add salt, mango powder and with mix them gently.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve fresh and hot with Indian lentil soup or dal.

Mung dal / Indian lentil soup :


  • 1 cup mung dal
  • 1 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander/cilantro leaves

Method – Wash and soak the mung dal/lentil for 15-20 minutes in 1/2 cups of water. Pressure cook the dal for 2 whistles (or cook until dal becomes really soft enough to mash them)

Heat a thick bottomed tawa/wok add oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, and green chilies and  asafoetida, saute for 1/2 minute.

Add cooked dal and salt. On a medium heat, let it boil for couple of minutes. Switch of the flame, stir in the lemon juice. Add this point, adjust the salt level if required.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and keep it covered.

Serves 6-8 moderate portions





One Comment Add yours

  1. Namrata says:

    Yes, a delightful combination of rice and dal – comfort food at its best.

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