Friday, September 13, 2013

Khichuri - Rice, Lentils & Vegetable Stew

Yesterday we had 96°F temperatures and today it was down to 69°F. Looks like Fall is on its way, so I decided to make Khichuri for dinner. 

Khichuri, a Bengali one-pot-meal once considered comfort food for the poor, is now a delicacy served during the Monsoon or rainy season when the weather turns considerably cooler. Core ingredients are rice and lentils but vegetables, eggs, poultry or meat are added according to taste. 

For added interest, a cup of coconut milk was added towards the end which imparted an Asian flair to this dish.

Ingredients: (makes 6 generous servings)
1 cup Basmati rice
1/4 cup mung dal (mung beans)
1/4 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
1/4 cup wheat berries
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cauliflower, cut in florets
3 red-skinned potatoes, cut in eighths
10-12 baby carrots, peeled
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
6 cups hot water
2 cups hot chicken broth or water
1 cup coconut milk, heated
salt to taste

1/2 tsp. Shah Jeera or cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise

Spice Powders:
1 tsp. Kashmiri Mirch or paprika
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. garam masala powder

6 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled & quartered (optional)
2 limes, cut in eighths
Deep fried onions
Deep fried garlic 
Ghee or butter

  1. Wash & drain the rice, dals and wheat berries.
  2. Heat oil, fry mushrooms until golden brown, remove & set aside.
  3. In same oil, sputter Tempering and Spice Powders.
  4. Stir-fry onions and garlic until translucent, add ginger paste & stir.
  5. Add drained rice & lentils and stir-fry until coated with oil & spices.
  6. Stir in 6 cups hot water, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes.
  7. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes, rice & lentils are cooked.
  8. Add mushrooms & peppers along with hot chicken broth.
  9. Bring to a boil, add heated coconut milk & adjust salt to taste.
  10. Transfer to serving bowls & garnish as desired.

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