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Recipe: Grounding Khichari (Rice and Lentil Stew)

This recipe comes to us from 2019 Hazon Food Conference Presenter Regina Mosenkis.

Recipe from What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen by Divya Alter (Rizzoli, 2017)

Here is my grounding and warming version of this meal-in-a-pot dish. You can easily prepare it in a slow cooker by starting it at night on low, then in the morning pack the ready khichari in a thermos and take it to work. Grounding Khichari goes well with any of the chutneys on pages 191 to 192, with salads, and with cooked leafy greens.

Gluten free, Dairy free
Makes about 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup yellow split mung dal or red lentils
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, sesame oil, or olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 6 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small green Thai chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons Grounding Masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups diced vegetables (you can combine a few), such as carrots, sweet potatoes, taro root, green beans, zucchini, fennel, turnips, celery root, beets, and/or leafy greens
  • 4 to 5 cups water (or if you are using a slow cooker, cover the ingredients with 2 inches of water)
  • Garnishes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, basil, dill, or parsley
  • Lime slices

Instructions

  1. Soak the dal and rice in a bowl together for 20 minutes. Rinse until the water runs clear and drain well.
  2. Heat the ghee in in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the turmeric and toast for 10 seconds, then add the ginger, curry leaves, and chile and continue to toast until they crisp up, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and dal and stir frequently until the dal is almost dry. Add the masala, salt, vegetables, and water. Bring to a full boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, until the lentils begin to dissolve, the rice is soft, and the vegetables are cooked. If the khichari dries out too much and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, add more water; you’re looking for a creamy, moist consistency.
  3. Garnish the khichari with olive oil, a few turns of cracked pepper, and the cilantro. Serve hot with lime slices alongside.

Note: Add quick-cooking vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus, or leafy greens 20 minutes into the
cooking in Step 2. To store it: Place the milk in a jar or an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Shake well before use.

Variations:
Use an equal amount of yellow split mung dal and red lentils and an equal amount of basmati rice and quinoa.
For deeper cleansing, substitute 1⁄4 cup soaked and ground (to a paste) kulthi beans (page 69, Step 1) for 1⁄4 cup of the yellow split mung dal.