For this week’s cooking post I chose a dish I like a lot: khichdi, a rice and lentils dish, very popular in South Asia. This dish has endless variants and names, according to the region where it is prepared and the ingredients that it contains.
My recipe of today aims to be a sort of blueprint, that you can adapt to the ingredients in your cupboard and to your taste.
- rice (basmati or jasmine do fine)
- lentils, dal or small pulses in around the same quantity of rice
- turmeric powder
- one or two bay leaves
- fenugreek (optional)
- chili (optional)
- a fat: olive oil, or butter, or ghee, or coconut oil
- coriander leaves, and/or basil, and/or parsley (fresh would be the best)
- yoghurt (optional)
Preparation (~2h soaking + ~30min cooking):
Soak the lentils if needed (check instructions on the package, or rely on your experience). Wash lentils and rice together, until the water comes out clean. Optionally let both soak in water for 1 or 2 hours before cooking.
Put rice and lentils in a pot (a pressure cooker would speed up cooking, but is not required; any wide pot will do), cover them with warm water, add cumin and bay leaves and let cook until tender but not yet cooked. In the meanwhile, crush coriander, cumin and fenugreek in a mortar. (You can roast them before crushing them, using a small pan and no fat.) Slice some ginger, at your taste. When rice and lentils are halfway cooked, add the spices and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until tender. Add water if needed – more water will make the khichdi more soupy and easier to digest, while less water will make it more firm, risotto-like.
Add salt as the last thing, in the pot or in each dish.
On each dish, add crushed or minced coriander/basil/parsley leaves, your preferred fat, chili if you like, and/or pepper. A touch of yoghurt makes the dish deliciously creamy and enhances the spices’ flavours. Enjoy!