Lentil and Rice Kedgee (Ghar Ki Khichdee)
4 tablespoons Clarified Butter (page 15) or vegetable oil
Pinch of asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and julienned
2 black cardamom pods
Pinch of Warm Spice Mix (see recipe on page 12)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¾ cup yellow mung beans, washed and drained
½ cup basmati rice, washed and drained
Salt, to taste
5 cups water
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
In India, there is nothing that ails you, apparently, that cannot be cured by eating khichdee.
1. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed casserole on medium. (Make sure your casserole dish is large enough to hold the rice and mung beans, as the quantity will almost double when it is cooked.) Add the asafetida and cumin seeds. As soon as the seeds sizzle, add the onion and ginger; sauté until the onion begins to turn brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Add the cardamom pods, cloves, spice mix, and turmeric; sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add the mung beans and rice; sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the salt. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent sticking. Uncover and check to ensure that the rice and lentils have cooked completely. They should be soft to the touch and mash easily. The finished dish should have the consistency of a thick porridge. Serve hot.
Adding lemon juice when cooking rice helps the grains stay shining white. Just add a few drops during the cooking process. You can use bottled or fresh lemon juice.