Middle Eastern Flavoured Lentils Rice … in the Instant Pot

This recipe is for the Instant Pot but I know you could make it in a regular pot if you don’t have an Instant Pot! But if you do… this is quick & delicious

If you have not really tried this Lentil & Rice dish you should give it a try. The flavour is very distinct… the spices are cumin…cinnamon ..allspice..This can be eaten with or without plain yogurt. It is a good vegetarian dish or vegan without the yogurt but I would try a coconut yogurt if I was vegan!

To be honest, Murray did not love this dish but I do!!! I guess we do not always like the same thing 🙂 He ate chicken wings & I had this… I really like it!

NOTE the first time I made this it was too dry, I tried it again & it was nice and moist..then my friend tried it and she found it was too dry…so I don’t know what to say! It is tasty & I think you should give it try & see for yourself. If you eat it with yogurt then it won’t seem dry…

The recipe is from COMFORT IN AN INSTANT by MELISSA CLARK. I tried to find this recipe online to give you a link to it, but I could not find it…if you look & find it let me know! Then I will add the link. The book is available on Amazon & when I looked through it there seemed to be so many good recipes in there. I would recommend buying it actually…

Here is the recipe…. I only omitted a bay leaf & didn’t put as much cayenne in as the recipe called for.


3 tbsp olive oil

3 large leeks, white & light green parts only

kosher salt

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or less if you don’t want this ‘hot’

1 cup green or brown lentils

2 3/4 cup water

2 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

3/4 cup long grain rice… I used basmati

5 ounces of baby spinach which was 4 cups when I weighed it out

plain yogurt for serving… 1 cup


  1. Prepare your ingredients… thinly slice the leeks, since the garlic & the spices ready;
  2. IF you have to rinse your rice do so when the vegetables are sautéing
  3. Use the saute function on your Instant Pot… heat the oil.
  4. Put the leeks in the hot oil & sautĂ© until they are golden brown at the edges… recipe says for about 10 min,,,stir often
  5. When the leeks are finished, take out about half of them & set aside. You will serve these on top of the rice
  6. Put the minced garlic in the pot & cook until it becomes fragrant
  7. Add the cumin, allspice & cayenne pepper, stir & cook for about 30 seconds
  8. Add the lentils to the pot, stir
  9. Add the water, salt, bay leaf & cinnamon stick ..give it a stir
  10. Lock the lid to the Instant Pot in place. Make sure the valve is in the sealed position.
  11. Cook on High Pressure for 1 minute. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes then manually release the pressure that remains.
  12. Uncover the pot & stir in the rice
  13. Put the lid back on, lock it in place & cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes
  14. Manually release the pressure when the 8 minutes is up1
  15. Now, uncover the pot & stir the spinach in
  16. Cover the pot with out locking the lid in place… let it sit for about 10 minutes… the spinach will wilt & the rice will finish cooking
  17. When the time is up, give it a stir
  18. Season with salt & pepper to taste
  19. Serve with the reserved cooked leeks & yogurt if using


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