Kitchari | Spekko

Everyday life has become so busy and modern these days that often, we forget about the simpler things in life.

Kitchari

Kitchari

Kitchari is an Indian “comfort food” made from rice and lentils. Fashion designer Cyril Naicker who cooked this at a Spekko Rice Celebrity Cook-off, relates that he ate this as a child. Later the dish was embellished by the English who added smoked cod or herring instead of the lentils to create a modern-day kedgeree.

  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Prep time:
  • Cooking time:
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Ingredients

    1 cup Spekko India Gate Basmati Rice
    1 cup IMBO red lentils

    For the masala mix
    60 ml (4 tbsp) vegetable oil
    100 g butter
    1 bay leaf
    1 cassia bark
    6 – 8 green cardamom pods
    4 cloves
    5 ml (1 tsp) coriander powder
    1 large onion, sliced
    5 ml (1 tsp) ginger garlic paste
    ½ tsp turmeric
    250 ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt

    3 cups water
    A handful of chopped fresh coriander
    A handful of fresh chopped mint leaves
    3 fresh green chillies, slit

    Salt to taste

Method

    1. Soak the rice and lentils in plenty of cold water. 
    2. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pot. Add the bay leaf, cassia bark, cardamom pods, gloves and the coriander powder. Sauté until the whole spices are fragrant. 
    3. Add the sliced onion and sauté until golden. 
    4. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell of the ginger garlic disappears. 
    5. Add the turmeric and the yoghurt. Simmer until the oil seeps to the top. 
    6. Drain the rice and lentils and add to the masala mixture, stirring until the rice and lentils are all coated. Add the 3 cups of water. 
    7. Add the chopped fresh coriander, mint and the 3 chillies. Close the pot and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the rice and lentils are cooked. Add salt to taste. 
    8. Serve plain or with pickles of your choice.