February 21st, 2010

This is a basic Mung Bean dal and Basmati rice stew

The word Khichuri literally means a hotchpotch or a mixture

2 Cups Mung Bean Dal, or split yellow Lentils available at the Indian Groceries or Asian and Thai markets. You could substitute with split Red Lentils available at regular grocery stores.

1 Cup Basmati Rice

4 Tbs. Ghee, clarified butter, or cooking oil

2 Bay Leaves

2 Whole Cayenne Peppers

1 Tsp. Cumin Seeds, whole

1 Jalapeno or two Serranos chopped fine

1 Tsp. Asafoetida or Hing powder (available at Asian or Indian grocers)

1 Tomato chopped, about one cup

1 Tbs. Fresh ginger peeled and grated

1Tsp. Turmeric powder

1 Tbs. Roasted and ground Cumin Seeds

1Tbs. Salt

1Tbs. Sugar

1Tsp Garam Masala (Equal amounts of Cardamom Cinnamon and Clove ground together)

6 Cups Water (You might need more)

In a big stockpot boil about 6 cups of water. Wash the Mung Bean Dal and put it in the pot with the turmeric powder. After the dal gets soft and starts to fall apart add the Basmati Rice. After the Basmati Rice cooks for about five minutes add the roasted Cumin Seed Powder. The consistency of this dish should be like the American chili. If you need more water add hot water so as not to slow down the cooking. After the rice is cooked but not glutinous turn the heat off the pot but keep it covered.

In a small pan heat three tablespoons of the ghee or oil. Put the bay leaves, cumin seeds, whole cayenne peppers whole and the Asafoetida. Keep stirring constantly and reduce the heat so as not to burn. Add the grated ginger and fry it a little bit. When the flavor starts coming out and the ginger turns a little light brown in color, mix the whole thing in the stockpot with the salt and sugar and start simmering it again. Add the green chilies, the remaining tablespoon of the ghee and the Garam Masala. Serve hot. You can be creative and add different types of vegetables to this stew. This stew is a meal in itself.

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