The days are getting shorter and evenings are getting colder and I’m stockpiling blankets for the winter. As we spend more time indoors we begin to crave those comfort foods we know and love. One of my favourites is a dish called Kitchari. It’s warm, delicious and healthy! There are many variations on this dish but traditional kitchari is made of rice and lentils. My friend from Nepal taught me how to make a yummy Nepalese kitchari while I was living in Hong Kong and this has become my go to meal when I want something easy to make. What I love about kitchari is you can make it your own by adding your favourite vegetables and even meat if you wish. The recipe I want to share with you today was inspired by British Indian kedgeree along with Egyptian kushari. “Badshah kitchari” means “the kitchari of kings.” My husband made it for dinner last night and I encourage you to try it out.
- 1/4 cups basmati rice
- 1/4 cups split mung beans (moong dal) (or yellow split peas or red lentils if these are easier to find)
- 3 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
- 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- your choice of vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, spinach, etc) chopped
- cashews + almonds (optional garnish)
Combine rice and lentils and rinse well. Allow to soak in a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
Using a wide-bottomed frying pan, melt ghee on medium heat. When ghee starts to foam, add cinnamon stick, cloves and cumin. Stir for 2 minutes (smell the goodness!). Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
Add green chilli (optional) and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add turmeric and salt.
Cook until water is absorbed, which should be around 25 minutes. Leave it to rest for 5 minutes with lid on, then fluff with a fork.
Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cashews and almonds.
Enjoy. Recipe from the book “Made in India” by Meera Sodha