September 17, 2014

Omani Minty walnut and Lentil Pilaf | Main Course

Pilaf (also known as pilav, pilau, plov, pulao, polu and palaw) is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth.. In some cases, the rice may also attain its brown color by being stirred with bits of cooked onion, as well as a large mix of spices. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain meatfishvegetables, and (driedfruits.

Pilaf and similar dishes are common to BalkanMiddle EasternCaucasianCentral and South AsianEast AfricanNorth IndianLatin American and Caribbean cuisines. It is a staple food and a national dish in Afghan,AzerbaijaniBukharan Jewish, Swahili (Kenyan and Zanzibari), Uzbek, and Tajik cuisines (source : Wiki)

Today presenting a different but totally delicious Pilaf from Oman – Omani Walnut-Lentil and Mint Pilaf. Both me and DH were blown away with the minty taste, the earthiness of the walnut and the crunch from the brown lentils.

Omani cuisine is predominantly chicken, lamb based, although sea food is also featured. I got this recipe from a friend who spent many years in the Middle-East, and this was her go-to recipe for a vegetarian potluck. I am glad we made it, and shall be making this very often.

Country : Oman
Dish :  Omani Minty walnut and Lentil Pilaf (Main course dish)
Spice level : Medium to high
Serving suggestions :  Raita or just plain yoghurt
Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves : 4
Adapted from :  my friend’s recipe

  • Rice – long grained – 1 cup
  • Fresh mint – ½ cup
  • Brown whole lentils  (whole masoor) – soaked for 30 mins in warm water
  • Toasted walnuts – ¼ cup (or a large handful)
  • Onions – 3 medium
  • Green chillies – 3 (low spice variety)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 TBSP
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Cream – 2 tsp 

  1. Wash and soak rice in water for 20 mins. Meanwhile, also wash and soak whole masoor (whole brown lentils) in another pan of warm water for 20 mins.
  2. Toast the walnuts for approx. 1 min and coarsely chop them.
  3. Take half of both the walnuts & diced onions, all the chillies and puree them without too much water to a smooth paste.
  4. In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the paste and remaining onions, sauté for 2-4 mins. Now add the drained rice and lentils and water and cook with salt till they are ¾ done (approx. 20 mins) – you can alternatively put them in a rice cooker, but switch off after 20 mins.
  5. Now add the rest of the walnuts, cream, garam masala. Stir well, and simmer till the rice fluffs up and the lentils are done (not mushy).
  6. Serve hot with any raita or just yoghurt.

Lets see what the other marathoners have dished out for the World Blogging Marathon.


  1. That sounds like one delicious pulao Kalyani..good to see a good option for vegetarian.

  2. Minty pulao looks delicious! Nice presentation

  3. A nice wholesome healthy one dish meal.

  4. Such a hearty,healthy and flavourful pilaf, fantastic dish to enjoy thoroughly.

  5. Mint, masoor and walnuts! That's a nice combo for rice. Would love to try it soon.This rice platter looks real delicious and flavorful.

  6. Wow! that is a rare combo of walnut , lentils in pilaf, Kalyani.

  7. This is one nutritious and interesting pilaf. It can be a great lunch box item.

  8. I was even thinking of making pilaf for Oman then changed my mind :) very very tempting and flavourful pilaf dear :) Love the masoor dal and walnut combo :) I wud love to finish this healthy rice now :)

  9. Such a healthy & flavorful rice dish.

  10. Mint has always been my favourite herb. And the pilaf with mint looks so yumm...

  11. mint is a nice twist to this otherwise regular pulav, and yes the additional of walnuts makes it richer

  12. I can feel the aroma of fresh mint here!!! Looks scrumptious and lunch time here this is really killing me now!!!

  13. Mint and lentils with walnuts and that too in rice is simply awesome!!!

  14. Mint, lentils and walnuts!!!! awesome.


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