Eggplant and Lentils disappear in this hearty rice recipe. Perfect for wintry night dinners, this Instant Pot recipe can be made as a side dish or one dish dinner.
I don’t have any fancy or whimsical story for you unless we go back to my childhood when I remember my mom breading and frying eggplant and how disgusting it smelled and tasted. That memory is way too vivid in my memory for being almost 30 years ago. Nope. Eggplant has never been my thing, so if you need a reason for why I make it, it’s basically because I’m determined to tackle it head on and find a way to like it, and I’ve found a few ways. The biggest? Using it to boost flavor and bulk without being the dominating flavor or texture of a dish.
If your family isn’t a fan of eggplant, then this recipe is for you. The eggplant literally disappears. You have to try it to believe it and you may ask what the point of adding it is. Well, you get the benefits of eggplant and the flavor it adds to the dish without suffering through a taste and texture you just might not care for. It’s also a way to get your family to open their minds to the possibilities of eating eggplant.
And while we’re at it, it packs a double whammy with the red lentils, which cook down and thicken the dish. You will still get the taste and texture of them but you won’t have any visible signs of lentil. One of the things I love about this dish is that the combination is packed with nutrients and has staying power. If you have kids who are never ending hungry you know how much that means. If you’re still not sure, I dare you to give it a try.
Eggplant Lentil Rice
- 2 cups quick-cooking brown rice*
- 2 cups eggplant, peeled and cubed (approximately 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly (approximately 4 mushrooms)
- 1 cup red lentils, uncooked
- 4 cups beef or chicken broth (If using a 32 oz. carton, measure.)
- Add 1 cup water + water to the broth to make 4 cups if it's short
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper**
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- a small pinch of saffron crushed up
- 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (optional for a 1 dish meal)
- Mix all ingredients in your Instant Pot.
- Close vent.
- Press chili/beans.
- Once pressure cooker is done use quick pressure release.
- Takes approximately 30 minutes cook time and 15 minutes to build pressure.
- I use Della organic quick-cooking brown rice, which I found at Costco.
- Use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon for low to medium heat.
Did you see this week’s produce of the week? Everything You Need to Know about Eggplant