Red Lentil and Rice Soup

Red Lentil and Rice Soup


This is another of those thick and hearty soups the Indians of Malaysia love to cook. Nothing fancy, just a bowl of deeply flavored, simple and nourishing food. The combination of red lentils and basmati rice cooked with the earthiness of paprika and garlic provides layers of savory flavor to the dish.

The onions, garlic, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes and paprika form the base of flavor, therefore, you would want to make sure this part is browned properly. After that it’s all very straightforward, as the lentils and rice are added to the pot and cooked until very soft and creamy. Make sure the lentils are thoroughly cleaned before adding them; run water through them until the water runs clear. Otherwise you might end up with a lot of foam on the surface. For faster cooking time you could also soak the lentils in warm water overnight, although I personally don’t fuss with that. It is important that you use good extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil, and don’t skimp on the quantity. The greatest pleasure in this soup is in the taste of properly browned onions, which are the key to the success of this dish.

Serves 6


1 ½ cup red lentils

¼ cup white basmati rice

4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut or olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 large tomato, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons paprika

6 cups chicken stock or water

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 fresh jalapeño, sliced

  1. Wash the lentils and rice together by gently rubbing them with your fingers in a bowl under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain the lentils and rice and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a deep pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring until they are soften but not brown. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and paprika. Cook, stirring for 1 minute to infuse the flavors.
  3. Add the lentils and rice into the pot and mix well. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil uncovered over medium heat. Skim off any foam that may appear on the surface during the cooking process. Lower the heat, cover the pot and allow the lentils to cook, stirring intermittently, until the rice is cooked about 35minutes.
  1. Add salt and pepper. Taste, add more salt if needed. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the soup appears too thick add some water. Garnish with jalapeño and serve.
Red Lentil and Rice Soup

Kopi Tiam Pork Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce

Kopi Tiam Pork Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce

Hainan cuisine made its way to British Malaya in the late 1800s through cooks who ventured to this colony in search of greener pastures. Working in expatriate homes, camps and for wealthy Europeans, they soon mastered the culinary skills to make familiar European food such as roasts, soups and bread. Over time, the inevitable fusion of European and Chinese came to be known as Hainanese cuisine.
Baked Ratatouille

Baked Ratatouille in Dutch Oven

Baked Ratatouille in Dutch Oven Ingredients2 medium yellow onions, about 2 cups chopped3 bell peppers, preferably 1 each of yellow, green, and red6 cloves garlic6 small zucchini, about 2 lbs total2 small-to-medium…
The Perfect Butter Pie Dough

The Perfect Butter Pie Dough

The Perfect Butter Pie Dough Ingredients6 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour1 tsp. granulated sugar3/8 tsp. table salt4 oz. (8 Tbs.) cold unsalted European butter, cut into 3/4-inch pieces3 to 4…
Chicken and Sweet Potatoes Curry Puffs

Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry Puffs

Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry Puffs (Makes 22 curry puffs) Ingredients:1 cup frozen petite peas1 pound frozen puff pastry1 carrot, peeled and diced1 medium sweet potato, peeled, and diced1 small red or…
Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice with Cashews

Pineapple Fried Rice with Cashews (Serves 4) Ingredients4 tablespoons peanut oil4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced3 cloves of garlic, minced1 green jalapeño, chopped1½ cup fresh pineapple, cut into…
Eggplant Sambal Malacca

Eggplant Sambal Malacca Style

Eggplant Sambal Malacca Style The Eggplant Sambal Malacca style dish is my version of ‘nonya sambal terung’ the famous Malaccan eggplant dish. Sambal dishes always begin with an aromatic spice paste that must be cooked properly until the…
Sweet Potato Donuts

Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Palm Sugar

Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Palm Sugar (Kuih Keria) For me, one of the most exciting culinary adventures is visiting a residential market or roadside vendor who sells kuih keria at 4 pm daily. These delightful…