Khichadi (pronounced kich-ah-ree) is an Indian comfort food that features rice and lentils. This recipe also calls for a variety of spices that will fill your kitchen with a wonderful aroma! This hearty dish is not short on ingredients, so please see Notes below for time-saving variations.
- For the rice and lentils:
- 3½ cups water
- ¾ cup dry/uncooked brown basmati rice
- ¾ cup dry/uncooked red lentils
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (these are spicy; optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- For the vegetables:
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1½ teaspoons finely chopped garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated or chopped fresh ginger
- 3 cups water
- ½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks (about 1½ cups)
- 1 medium yam, cut into ½-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- 2 ribs celery, sliced (about ⅔ cup)
- 1¼ cups cooked peas (if frozen, thaw a little with warm water)
- 4 cups coarsely chopped greens (I like curly kale)
- Bring the water, rice, lentils, and spices (cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cardamom, and cloves) to a boil in a soup pot over high heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the rice and lentils are done cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of water in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the water starts to sputter, add the onion, and cook while stirring for 3 minutes, adding a little water, as needed. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook while stirring for 1 minute.
- Add the 3 cups of water, potatoes, yams, and celery to the frying pan, and return to a boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then cover and cook for 7 minutes. Stir in the peas and greens, then cover and cook for 3 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir the cooked vegetables into the pot of cooked rice and lentils. Serve immediately as is or topped with grated nuts (use a rotary cheese grater to create a parmesan cheese-like topping).
If you’re not in the chopping mood, you can also make a meal of just the lentils, rice, and herbs and spices after cooking them all together in step 1.
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