Kitchri is a very simple dish. Yet, we always enjoyed it and regarded it as a special dish, because it was always so delicious. Basically, it is rice and in this case, yellow split mung/moong lentils that are cooked together.
Traditionally, and the way my mother used to make it, was to boil the rice and lentils together and then sauté onions in butter and then add this to the rice mix, making it, Kitchri. I remember her throwing in this sizzling sautéd mix into the pot of rice, then blending it all together.
I have used my mother's basic recipe and adapted it, to make it vegan. It is also quick & easy to make in a pressure cooker, just 8 minutes. If you are reluctant to use a pressure cooker, then do cook it the regular style, which is described below.
Kitchri can be made with several lentils. The quickest cooking lentil is the yellow split mung/moong lentil. It makes a delicious Kitchri as well as, dhal. There are many ways to cook this dish, some folks like it to be very soft and others prefer the rice grains to be firm. How long you cook the rice and lentils, determines the texture. Do flavor the rice with cinnamon sticks, cardomom, star anise and powdered cinnamon as well. I add a dry chili on occasion.
Here is the Recipe
Split Mung Dhal/Lentils
Please remember that some lentils take longer to cook than others. If you use brown rice, it usually takes longer to cook than regular rice. I find that Basmathi rice is one of the quickest cooking rice that I have used. Generally the lentils take longer to cook than rice.
For the regular method, you begin with washing the rice and leave it soaking in a dish of water. Parboil the lentils, about 10-15 minutes in 3-4 cups of water. While boiling add the condiments in #7. The lentils should feel firm but not mushy. Now add the rice and add water if necessary, but not too much. The water has to be totally absorbed by the rice and lentils. In Kitchri you do not drain off the water.
You will need to watch the pot to see if you need to add more water. Lower temperature. The Kitchri should be done when the rice and lentils feel soft and there is no liquid in pot.
For vegans, heat oil, sauté onions and chili. (optonal) You may add more cardomom pods & cinnamon stick to this mix. When onions are soft, add to the pot.
If you like to use butter, sauté onions with about 4 tablespoons of butter. Add more condiments to the sauté mix, if you like. Add to Kitchri when onions are soft. Taste for salt and cinnamon powder, if you like the flavor. Enjoy with sauces or curries.
If you have any questions, comments, or would like to celebrate your mother as well, submit a recipe of your own via email to me, Nirmala, at:
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