Kitchiri with red Lentils

In Egg, Main meals, Rice on May 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

I was dithering about what to make for lunch today and happened upon this recipe in my trusty ‘Comfort Food’ recipe book.

According to my book – “This lentil and rice dish is a delicious interpretation of the original Indian kitchiri, which was adapted by the British to use smoked fish instead of  dhal and renamed kedgeree. Slighty spicy and full of calming carbohydrate this is perfect for a lazy breakfast”

Well, I have to say…I never ate kitchiri or kedgeree in a form that was similar to this or kedgeree when I lived in India. My boarding school cafeteria did make something called sago khichdi, which I ate sometimes for breakfast. But nothing with fish….or even just with lentils and rice mixed. That said, our school cafeteria was not exactly a great exemplar! Anyway, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of kedgeree because my mother loves it and it is a dish that one rarely encounters eating out (or at least, in my experience…not that I get to eat out all that frequently) yet she and I never used to make it at home. Until today, that is….even if this is kitchiri rather than kedgeree.

It’s pretty simple and cheap, but even better – it keeps your tummy full! Also, I sense there is definitely potential for dressing this dish up by adding your own variations. Today, I considered incorporating either some capsicum or chillis that I had lying around, but confess I was too hungry and lazy at the time! Next time.

(Please note this dish was not easy to photograph attractively, but it was so nice that I couldn’t help sharing!)

50 g/1/4 cup red lentils

1 bay leaf

225 g/1 cup basmati rice

4 cloves

4 tbsp butter

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp chopped parsley

salt and pepper

4 hardboiled eggs, quartered to serve (if desired)

1. Put lentils in a pan, add bay leaf and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skim off any foam, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 25-20 mins. Remove bay leaf and drain. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place the rice in a saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover it. Swirl rice around in the water and then drain. Repeat. Return rice to pan and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Add cloves and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, covered, for 10-15 mins, or until all water is absorbed and rice is tender. Discard the cloves.

3. Melt butter in pan, add curry and chilli powders. Cook for 1 min, and then stir through lentils and rice until they are well coated. Season mixture and leave 1-2 mins to guarantee that it is cooked through. Stir through parsley and add eggs, if using. Enjoy!

Recipe says it serves 4 people, but 2-3 is more realistic I think 😉


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