Khichuri - also known as khichdi or khichadi - is a mild rice and lentil dish that is often made for the week as it is light and nutritious: our version of chicken soup. It can be of a soupy consistency or thick enough to stand your spoon in. For extra texture or a different flavour you can add a few chopped vegetables, or onion or ginger with the cumin (see Note). Use yellow, skinned mung lentils if you prefer. Serve as part of a meal or for pure comfort; serve as it is in large bowls topped with a grinding of pepper, yoghurt and a little lemon pickle, or a drizzle of spiced ghee.
The beauty of this dish is in the combination of the lentils and rice, which gives it a risotto-like consistency and buttery flavour!
- 100 g long-grained white rice, washed in several changes of water
- 80 g split mung beans (moong dal), washed well
- 3 tsp (15 ml) ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ⅓ tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 5 black peppercorns, optional (or add freshly ground pepper to taste after the dish is cooked)
- 1 litre water
- yoghurt, lemon pickle or spiced ghee, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: 30-60 minutes
1. Soak the rice and lentils for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
2. Heat the ghee or oil in a medium-large non-stick saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice, lentils, turmeric powder, salt, peppercorns if using and water, and give them a good stir. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat completely down, cover and simmer for around 20 minutes or until the rice and lentils are tender. Stir occasionally and add extra water or reduce the mixture to get a soupy or porridge-like consistency.
• There are many variations. If adding onion, add after cooking the cumin seeds, and cook until soft before proceeding. I also make this using finely chopped garlic and chopped fresh ginger; add and cook off before adding the rice and lentils. You can also stir in garam masala and / or freshly ground pepper at the end.
Recipe from Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand (Quadrille)