Middle Eastern flavoured Lentils & Rice … in the Instant Pot

This recipe for Middle Eastern flavoured Lentils & Rice made in the Instant Pot is great 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 it is vegan without the yogurt but I would try a coconut yogurt if I was vegan!

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…

( I am an Amazon associate so if you purchase this book I might get a small compensation (

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, minced

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, get 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 & sauté 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 up
  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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Marilyn Dishes

Many people ask me "how did you do that?" "will you show me how?' So I decided to make a blog about what I cook and bake. I am in no way a professional cook, but I love to feed people and try new things as well as making the "old foods" My friends are wonderful cooks, each with their own 'specialty' and i will be having guest cooks here, showcasing their favourite things to cook as well!! I hope you enjoy this blog and maybe decide to make some of these foods yourself! I am always available to answer any questions you might have about anything you see here. Some of my recipes are unique to me but most are not. They are all recipes I have found in a variety of ways, some are old family recipes that date back decades and some are new ones!

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