Sunday, January 1, 2017

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas – Coconut Rice with Lentils

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas or Coconut Rice with Lentils is a traditional Colombian side dish seasoned with colorful bell peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and cilantro. It makes an excellent vegetarian Sunday Supper main dish.

I love to cook but one of the most challenging parts of  making dinner every day is deciding what to make. I am always on the lookout for inspiration. Many a time I’ve been in my local grocery store, perusing the fresh vegetables or meat counter and a helpful employee asks if he or she could help me. “I’m just waiting for something to jump out and say ‘Dinner!’ ” I reply.

Both of our daughters are home for the holidays, one with a boyfriend who loves to cook in tow, so I’ve had a lot of help both in the kitchen and in the “what to cook for dinner/blog” department. As I mention in my post today over on the Sunday Supper Movement website, we were brainstorming recipes for this Easy Supper Recipes event. They had a lot of great suggestions for which I was most grateful. We finally narrowed it down to the Chicken Scarpariello and the Arroz con Coco y Lentejas, both relatively simple but full of flavor.

Let me say this about the rice, despite two cans of coconut milk, it is just a hint coconutty. I can tell you for certain that both dishes will be making repeat appearances on our Sunday Supper table.

The Arroz con Coco y Lentejas was adapted from this recipe on

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped, 240g or a scant 2 cups
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small knob fresh ginger, minced
1-2 small hot red chilies, minced - optional
1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, stems chopped finely, leaves chopped roughly
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups or 395g lentils
3 – 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups or 375g long grain rice (I use an extra long grain Indian Basmati.)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 cans (13.5 oz or 400ml each) coconut milk (This is 3 1/3 cups.)

Drizzle the oil in a large deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Sauté the onions in the oil over a medium high heat, stirring frequently, until they turn translucent and start to color.

Add in the peppers and finely chopped cilantro stems and sauté for about five minutes, stirring often until they start to soften.

Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, tomato paste and minced chilies, if using. Stir well to combine and cook for a minute or two.

Pretend you see cumin here. I did put it in, but after the photo.

Add the lentils and three cups of the vegetable stock. Stir well.

Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to a medium simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are just about cooked.

Add the rice, the teaspoon of salt and the two cans of coconut milk. Stir well and put the tight-fitting lid back on. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and set a timer for 20 minutes. Do not open the pot until it rings.

When the 20 minutes are up, remove the lid and give the mixture a stir. Taste some of the rice grains. If they are still slightly undercooked, add in more of the stock, replace the cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Turn the stove off and leave the pan covered for up to another 30 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, mix in most of the chopped cilantro leaves, then use a few for garnish.

Serve hot or warm.


Today Sunday Supper is kicking off our second annual National Sunday Supper Month by sharing our favorite easy supper recipes. We'd like to encourage you to take the Sunday Supper pledge to eat together once a week, if you haven't already. There's a fun Instagram contest you can enter as well, with prizes! 

Many thanks to our host this week, Heather of Hezzi D's Books and Cooks and our event manager Cricket of Cricket's Confections for all of their behind the scenes work.

Check out all the lovely easy supper recipes we are sharing today.

Chicken Suppers

Pasta Suppers

Pork Suppers

Sheet Pan Suppers

Soup and Sandwich Suppers

Stove Top Suppers

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Arroz con Coco y Lentejas or Coconut Rice with Lentils is a traditional Colombian side dish seasoned with colorful bell peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and cilantro. It makes an excellent vegetarian #SundaySupper main dish.

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