DH got loads of Gouda cheese from his last trip to Amsterdam. Not only Gouda but also blue cheese, pesto flavored olive oil, grain mustard and tonnes of chorizo! The previous week was rather a “cheesy” week with both of us snacking heavily on cheese…DH usually loves to pair it up with his drinks.
I usually try my best to limit my intake on cheese but seriously, when you’ve got loads of them stacked up inside your refrigerator one can hardly resist. In this recipe too I thought of topping up the bake with baby Gouda cheese (with herbs) that has rather a mild creamy flavor and it doesn’t really overwhelm any dish. Rather its texture infuses a smoothness to the recipe thus enhancing the flavors and aroma and heightening the dish to a different level altogether.
In India we usually eat a very popular dish known as “khichdi”. It is simply rice and lentils cooked together along with spices on stovetop. This is just another version of the same khichdi, rather improvised version I would say! I somehow wanted to use Gouda cheese in this recipe, which urged me to bake it! And wow! It was awesomeness overload! Such beautiful flavors from the rice and lentils, veggies and cheese. My dinner couldn’t have gotten better!
You could serve as it is with a simple salad and yogurt. I always love to try various permutations and combinations with my khichdi! So this time, I served my lentils and rice bake with roasted sweet potatoes with a dollop of yogurt and spicy prawns (Indian style). This was the best fusion I had ever tried!
Onions 2 finely chopped
Garlic – 2-3 cloves finely chopped
Tomato puree – 3-4 tbsp
Carrot – 1 finely diced
Green peas – 1 cup
Rice – 2 cup
Red lentils – 1 cup
Paprika – 1 tbsp
Ground cumin – 1 tsp
Gouda cheese – freshly grated
Black pepper – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Take some oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic. Let it sizzle for about a min.
Then add the chopped onions. Fry the onions until just translucent.
Add the tomato puree. I used store-bought one however you could always use freshly pureed tomatoes.
Mix well. Then add the paprika and ground cumin. Give it a good mix and cook it for around 5 minutes.
Wash the red lentils and rice thoroughly. Add them to the pan. Also add the chopped carrots and green peas. (You could use any veggies of your choice). Give everything a good mix.
Add 3 cups of water. Add salt and mix well. Cover and cook on slow flame until all the water is absorbed.
Once all the water is absorbed, you might find that the rice and lentils are only 50-75% cooked. The rest of the cooking will be done in the oven.
Pour some olive oil on a baking dish. Add the rice and lentil mixture.
Add freshly grated Gouda Cheese (herbs flavor).
I have tried to use as little cheese as possible to minimize the intake of cheese, but at the same time without compromising on the taste.
Cover the baking dish with an aluminium foil. Place the baking dish inside the oven preheated to 180 degree Celsius.
Bake for 30 mins or until the rice and lentils are fully cooked.
P.S.: you must ensure that the rice and lentils are fully cooked before you take it out from the oven. (Raw rice will not taste good at all!)☺
If you find the mixture getting too dry, you could add a little water or vegetable stock.
Once its done, this is somewhat how it should look!
I served mine with baked sweet potatoes with yogurt and Indian style spicy prawns. Enjoy!!☺