Healing Khichri

Khichri is a simple peasant stew made with rice and lentils and usually topped with ghee. There are umpteen variations of it, this one being arguably the simplest of the lot. It can be fed to babies first eating solid food, to folks with stomach upsets (great for a hangover) or to older people with delicate digestions. Dill is good for healing an upset stomach and cardamom cures nausea.   

makes 6 cups

ingredients

1 cup basmati rice

¼ cup yellow moong split lentils


1 tsp turmeric

4 cups water

4-5 whole green cardamom pods

3-4 sprigs of dill
 

1 tsp salt

2 cups water
 

2 Tbsp ghee

instructions

  1. Rinse the basmati rice and yellow moong in cold water twice then soak for an hour. Drain most of the water.
     
  2. Combine the rice and lentil mixture with 4 cups water, cardamom pods, dill and salt in a stockpot and bring the mixture to a boil.
     
  3. Within a few minutes, a scum may rise to the top - this is the debris from the lentils that needs to be discarded. Using a slotted spoon, remove the scum. Lower the heat to its lowest setting, cover the stockpot and let the khichri cook for 45 minutes to an hour, checking and gently stirring every 10 minutes or so. At this point, be careful because the water may overflow and make a mess on the stove. Once the lentils and rice are cooked through, remove and discard the dill and cardamom pods. Add the next 2 cups of water gradually until the khichri has a creamy consistency.

ideas / variations

  • Any fragrant herb can be used to infuse the khichri in place of dill: basil, rosemary or thyme also work. 
  • To amp this khichri up, add one sliced serrano pepper and a cup of fresh tomatoes. 
  • Instead of ghee, drizzle olive or coconut oil on top.