Khichari (or pronounced as “kitch-eri”) is considered to be a very important meal served in every vegetarian kitchen worldwide, and to be honest a personal favorite of mine. It is a flavorful and juicy stew that is composed of mung beans, rice, and assorted vegetables of your own choosing. This stew is truly satisfying and very much nutritious. This dish according to some middle-eastern spiritual tradition, is usually served to devotees in temples after their morning rituals, and whenever anyone needs a soulful comfort in a form of a one pot meal.
Moreover this dish is ideally served with a small cup of yoghurt, several loaves of whole wheat toast or your favorite flat bread, lemon or lime wedges depending on your preference, and topped with a generous drizzle of melted ghee or clarified butter for added aesthetic flavor.
(This recipe yields four to six generous bowls)
Half cup of washed and drained split mung beans
Six cups of water
A bay leaf
Finely chopped thumb sized ginger
Half teaspoon of turmeric
1 seeded and chopped green chili
Two teaspoons of coriander powder
A cup of any long grain rice (or basmati rice is much preferred)
A packed cup of broccoli
A packed cup of potato cubes (skin on or off)
A packed cup of quartered Brussels sprouts
A packed cup of any other vegetables of your own choosing
Two chopped ripe tomatoes
Salt to taste
Three teaspoon of ghee or oil
Two teaspoon of cumin seeds
A handful of curry leaves
1 ½ teaspoon of yellow asafetida powder
Half cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves
*In a large pot boil the following: water, mung beans, bay leaf, turmeric, ginger, chili, and coriander powder. Reduce to a simmer once boiled, and cook partially covered for 10-15 minutes or until the mung beans starts to break down.
*In the pot add the rice, tomatoes, and the vegetables. Season with salt. Increase the heat with continuous stirring and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook until the rice softens. Remove from heat.
*In a separate frying pan heat the ghee or oil over moderate heat. Stir fry the cumin seeds until it reaches a slightly darker shade. Add in the curry leaves and asafetida. Remove from the fire and mix the fried spices into the stew and simmer it for another five minutes or until the rice is swollen completely.
*When the stew is done fold in the fresh coriander leaves and serve the stew with its suggested accompaniment.