Khadi kitchari

Another finalist in our family recipe competition, Priya Pitamber's recipe for khadi kitchari produces a fragrant vegetarian rice dish with lentils and cooked Inkomasi sourmilk. She says, "Almost every Indian household has their variation, and this has become the recipe I stick to, adapted from my mother and friends. Despite looking complicated to make, it is actually very fast and easy. The amount of spices can vary depending on your palate."


1/4 cup (moong dal) small split yellow lentils
1 cup basmati rice
1 teaspoon veg oil or ghee
1 small pinch asafoetida
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of water
1 carton Inkomasi
1 small teaspoon minced green chilli
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon of powered coriander
2 tablespoons chickpea or cake flour
2-3 handfuls fresh coriander leaves
2-3 mint leaves
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon veg oil or ghee
3-4 curry leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds


For the rice: soak the moong dal for about 15 minutes, then rinse it and the rice several times. In a saucepan, heat the ghee or oil. Add the hing and turmeric. Stir to infuse the oil or ghee with the spices and add a few drops of water if needed to prevent them from burning.

Add the rice and dal, stirring for a minute or two. Add 1½ cups of water and salt to taste.

Cover and bring to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Cook until the rice is fluffy, the lentils are soft and all the water has evaporated.

For the Khadi: place all the ingredients and spices (besides the ghee and, curry leaves and cumin seeds) into a blender and blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a deep pot. Once heated, add the curry leaves and cumin seeds. When you get the aroma, move the pot off the stove.

Stand as far as possible from the pot and pour in the mixture from the blender into the pot. Be careful as it will sputter violently. Start whisking the mixture immediately, and return the pot to the heated plate. It is important to whisk it continuously until it boils else the mixture will separate. Let it boil for a few minutes so it thickens.

To serve: Scoop the rice onto a plate and pour the khadi over it. Dig in and enjoy!

Also pictured here: Firzana’s rootis

Struggling to find some of the ingredients? Stock up on spices, ghee and chickpea flour by searching for a store in the exotica section in your area.

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