Monday, March 11, 2013

Khichri (Rice & Lentils)

Khichri (Rice & Lentils) is a very mild rice and lentil dish.  It contains almost no spices and is highly palatable for someone who has no spice tolerance (common in the U.S.).  Generally, it is served for anyone having digestive pains or needing to eat something bland for whatever reason.  However, my husband and I enjoy it as a regular meal and serve it with various relishes.  It's extremely easy to make and is maybe the equivalent of "macaroni and cheese" when compared to U.S. comfort foods.  You wouldn't really serve it for guests, but you would make it for your family occasionally.

When I first married into a Pakistani family, I remember I had zero spice tolerance.  It was rather difficult for me to eat my mother-in-law's food and I felt terrible because I had been raised to finish all the food on my plate, in typical American fashion.  Somehow I got through it and have since learned to love spicy food, especially hers :).  She was kind enough to make me Khichri, but for some odd reason I thought it had chicken in it and I was so sick from eating so much spicy food that I had negative associations with Khichri for about 5 years... Until I made it for my husband when he was recovering from surgery, I finally gave it another chance.  Surprise, surprise, it's not made with chicken, and it is in fact, delicious.  *Sigh*...  Oh, how I wish I could go back in time with the knowledge I have now.  :)

To make Khichri, rinse several times and then soak 1 cup of basmati rice with 1 cup of red lentils for 15 minutes in a bowl.

Slice 1 small onion (or half a large onion) and put it in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds.

Cook on high heat until onions are golden brown.

Drain the rice and lentils and add them to your pot.  Stir fry for a minute.

Add ~1/2 Tablespoon of salt and 2 cups of water.

Cover and keep on low heat for approximately 20-25 minutes (until rice and lentils are soft).

Butter & Achar
Sirkay ki Piyaz
Serve with garlic achar (Indian pickled preserves), sliver of butter per serving, and sirkay ki piyaz (pearl onions in vinegar).  You can buy achar at Indian/Pakistani grocery stores.  And I'll make another post sometime on how to make sirkay ki piyaz.  :)

Enjoy! :)

  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 small onion (or half a large onion)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ~1/2 Tablespoon of salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • Achar, butter, and sirkay ki piyaz (all are optional)


luckyfatima said...

This looks gorgeous. It's like a daal pullao.

Zahra Aamer said...

Loving your food journey.

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