Kichri

Kichri

Rice with lentils

By
From
Cooking from the Heart
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Mark Roper

This simple, flavoursome rice dish is perfect for a light Sunday afternoon meal. The dish came from the Rajah days in India and is often served with fried or barbecued fish and hard-boiled eggs. You can also serve them with fried runny eggs and smoked trout. Less oily and pungent than biryani, and with more body than the plain yellow rice, the dish was adopted into Sephardi Indian homes and made its way through Jewish kitchens in the East. The recipe below is adapted from my mum’s, with some optional extras I like to include. Instead of yellow lentils, you can use brown or red lentils. If using red lentils, there is no need to soak them — just wash them before using.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1/2 cup yellow lentils
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 brown onions, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Optional

Quantity Ingredient
12 curry leaves
or 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fried shallots, to garnish
parsley sprigs, to garnish

Method

  1. Wash the rice and lentils separately and soak them in separate bowls of water for 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onions and garlic until golden.
  3. Stir in the tomato, turmeric and cumin (as well as the curry leaves and salt, if using), then fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the rice and mix well, then stir in the lentils. Fry for another 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2½ cups water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low, then cover and cook very gently for 20–25 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the water and the lentils are cooked. If the rice and lentils are not cooked, stir in a little more water and cook for another 3–4 minutes.
  5. Serve garnished with fried shallots and parsley, if desired.
Tags:
Jewish
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