If you’ve never had kitchiri before, make this recipe ASAP. You have no idea what you are missing!
In my house, stew dishes are absolutely essential. They are often the savior of weekday dinners, the difference between ordering last minute takeout and cooking a healthy meal at home. That’s because despite my goodness Meal planning Intentions, I often don’t feel like cooking after a hard day. If the recipe is simple enough to carry out – like this easy Indian stew kitchiri – the chances get much, much better that I’ll actually pull it off.
This recipe only takes a handful of ingredients and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. They do everything in a single saucepan, from toasting the spices to bring out their flavor, to cooking the rice and beans. This Easy One-Pot Indian Kitchiri is not only easy to prepare, but is also made from all herbal ingredients. You won’t miss the meat, however. It contains enough fiber and protein to fill, even for the meat eaters around the house.
What is kitchiri?
Kitchiri (also spelled kitcharee, khichadi, kitchadee, khichdi and many other variations) is an Indian dish made from rice and dal (a type of split pea or lentil). I was first introduced to the court when I was taking notes My mother’s Ayurvedic cuisine with Ayurveda practitioners, Amita Nathwani. She explained that according to Ayurveda, kitchiri is one of the most nutritious foods to eat because it is easy to digest. Her grandmother served kitchiri for dinner every night of the year Panchakarma, a cleansing program used in Ayurveda to remove imbalances from the body.
Rice and beans together form a complete protein. That means they contain all of the amino acids our body needs (just like meat). It’s an excellent vegetarian meal and can easily go vegan and plant-based when made with coconut oil instead of ghee (like in this recipe). Our modified recipe also uses red lentils in place of moong dal as these are generally easier to find in U.S. grocery stores.
Can you do kitchiri in the instant pot?
If you want to make this stew even easier, you can use the Instant Pot! Use the saute function to roast the spices, onions, carrots and ginger before adding rice, lentils and water. Instead of using all of the water in the stove version, you want to reduce the water to three cups.
Then switch the instant pot to manual (high pressure) and cook for eight minutes. When the timer expires, naturally release the pressure for two to three minutes before manually releasing the pressure.
How to serve simple stew kitchiri
Kitchiri is filling and self-feeding, so don’t be afraid to just eat it as it is. To create a healthy, balanced meal, we definitely recommend serving it with vegetables. You can either conjure up your favorite Vegetable side dishesor stir vegetables like broccoli, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, tomato and more into the saucepan for the last three to five minutes.
Some people serve kitchiri with a dash of yogurt (or Chaas, a flavored buttermilk made by mixing yogurt and water). We left the yogurt out of this recipe to make it vegan friendly, but feel free to add it in! You can also use coconut cream or ours dairy-free sour cream recipe for a herbal addition.
When it comes to garnishing, we love the use of herbaceous coriander. You can also add a little flavor to the dish by adding a dash of lime juice. To add a touch of sweetness to this recipe, add a spoonful of caramelized onions to each bowl. You can also add a little spice by serving the dish with spicy Indian mixed pickles.
This is a great meal for busy weekends. It’s also a great way to show meat eaters how filling vegetarian dishes can be. Once you’ve tried it, we’re sure this recipe will be included in the regular rotation in your house!
- 1 tablespoon Coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds (Optional)
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 Carrots diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Cup Basmati rice flushed
- 1 Cup Red lenses flushed
- 6th cups water
- 4th Coriander sprigs chopped, for garnish
In a large, thick-bottomed saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the cumin and mustard seeds (if used) and cook for 1 minute until the seeds start to burst.
Add onions, carrots and ginger to the saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft.
Add the turmeric, salt, pepper, rice, and red lentils. Stir to coat the rice with the spices.
Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Check the pot to see if the rice and lentils are tender. If it doesn’t, but there is no more liquid, add an additional half a cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes. If the rice is tender but there is a lot of liquid in the mixture, simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes without a lid.
Serve the kitchiri with the chopped coriander.
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
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