One-Pot Wonders

Lentil & Grain Congee

April 28, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Kali
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I love this dish for when I want something nourishing, comforting and easy to make. It’s been something of a “go-to” dish over the years and thought it was time to share the love.

It’s like a healthy congee, using whole grains. Congee is a savoury rice porridge, a staple dish across Asia, here I’m using a mix of whole grains to make it really nutritious, both fibre and protein rich. A perfect dish for when you’re under the weather, but really for any time you want a warm hug with a little kick of heat and fun. It's thick, comforting, nourishing and easy to jazz up with toppings.

Soaking and slow cooking the grains and pulses together, makes them easier to digest and helps to create the silky final consistency you want. Here I used millet because I had plenty but I often like to use short grain brown rice. You can play around with the grains you have to hand; it’s a very easy going dish.

Finished with lemon, garlic, ginger and turmeric which really lifts it up and brings it together. It’s amazing how these very humble ingredients can be so satisfying and enjoyable!

For serving suggestions, I’ve been enjoying steaming aubergine lately, seasoned after with sesame, sesame oil and tamari, it would be a delicious topping for this dish. Or add sautéed spring greens.

Pictured, I’ve served with salsa macha, a Mexican chile salsa made of chiles, nuts and seeds, spring onion with a side salad of massage kale and toasted pumpkin seeds. —Kali

What You'll Need
  • 225 grams red lentils
  • 130 grams millet
  • 4 tablespoons coconut or rapeseed oil
  • 45 grams minced garlic
  • 45 grams minced or grated ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric or 1 tsp ground
  • 1.5 juice - juicy lemons
  • good quality salt - I like pink himalayan or sea salt
  • Furikake
  • 2 sheet nori
  • 100 grams sesame seeds, toasted, I like a mix of black and white
  • 5 grams or 1 tsp himalayan or sea salt
  1. Soak lentil and grains together with plenty of lightly salted water for eight hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse well, transfer to a large pan and cover with double the amount of fresh water and a pinch salt. Bring to the boil and turn down, cook on low heat with the lid on for an hour or more. I like to cook for 2 hours so the grains really break down, but it will still be well cooked and taste great after an hour. Stir occasionally to stop sticking and check the mix doesn’t need more water, you’ll need more than you think so if it’s looking a little dry or too thick add more and mix it in well. The mixture should be thick but loose, like porridge.
  3. When you’re almost ready to serve, heat a frying pan with the oil, add the garlic, fry until just golden and transfer to the ‘congee’, mix through. Mix in the ginger, turmeric and lemon and cook for another 15 minutes. Check the consistency, taste for seasoning and serve.
  4. To serve, top with spring onion, your favourite chile oil, choice of vegetables, I also like to add some nuts or seeds for an extra nutrient boost and crunchy texture. Pictured is a simple massaged kale salad, with toasted seeds, furikake and salsa macha.
  5. This also freezes well and keeps for a few days in the fridge.
  6. For the furikake : Using tongs, hold the nori a few inches away from open flame, lightly toast the sheets on both sides. Careful not to let it burn. Blitz in a food processor with the toasted sesame and salt until you have a rough crumb. Transfer to a jar, this will keep nicely for a few months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

0 Reviews