Friday 28 February 2014

Husnaas' Mums' Gujarati Kadhi Kichri with Rai Potatoes

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

So, I'm stepping into unknown territory today with this recipe for the Gujarati classic Kari Kichri. 

Thankfully, I was provided with a family recipe from Husnaa and her mum - so a BIG Jazakillah Khair to you both :)
Kichri  is a dish made using rice and lentils. It is a real comfort food for Indians and Pakistanis alike. Gujarati people usually serve their kichri with kari - a sauce made using yoghurt, gram flour and spices. I have shared my grandmothers' recipe for Punjabi Kari here on this blog before. The difference between the two is that we Punjabis add Vegetable Pakoras to our Kari and our sauce is a bit thicker compared to the Gujarati one.
Anyway, this recipe is still absolutely delicious and takes me right back to my student days. Husnaa also provided me with a recipe for one of her favourite curries to serve this with - Rai Potatoes - but you can serve it just with Indian pickles or any other curry of your choice.
P.S. The full written recipe will be at the end of this post :)

A Simple List of Ingredients (Don't panic at how many ingredients there are - they're for 3 dishes after all)

1. Onion
2. Basmati Rice
3. Red Lentils
4. Salt
5. Ground Turmeric
6. Cinnamon Stick
7. Green Cardamoms
8. Cumin Seeds
9. Cloves
10. Black Peppercorns
11. Bay Leaf
12. Vegetable Oil
13. Butter
14. Water
15. Plain Yoghurt
16. Fenugreek Seeds
17. Gram Flour
18. Curry Leaves
19. Fresh Coriander
20. Green Chillies
21. Garlic
22. Ground Cumin
23. Desiccated Coconut
24. Peanut Butter
25. Potatoes
26. Mustard Seeds
27. Ground Coriander
28. Ginger Paste
29. Garlic Paste

Bismillah, let's begin! 

First, a montage of the photos sent to me by Husnaa :) Here are the Rai Potatoes:

The Kichri:

And, the Kari:

Now, it's my turn!
First, for the Kichri, take 400 grams (2 cups) Basmati Rice. You could also use long-grain rice too.

Add 200 grams (1 cup) Red Lentils (Masoor Daal). You could also use Tuwar Daal or Mug Daal.

Mix the two together.

Wash a few times and then soak for at least 30 minutes.

Next, I started on the Rai Potatoes because they will take the longest to cook. So, get yourself 7 medium Potatoes.

Peel the potatoes. I always peel any veg that needs peeling on a paper towel. That way I can throw it straight into the bin.

Once peeled, cube the potatoes into roughly the same size.

Next, we need some green chilli paste. So, I put Jalapeno Chillies into a mini blender with a little Water. You can use normal green chillies too.

Blend until smooth.

Then, take 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds and 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds.

Put them into a large frying pan, and roast for about 1 minute.

Pour in 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil, and fry for another minute. Prepare for the delicious aroma!

Next, more spices! Take :
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander 
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin.

Add to them to the hot oil.

Along with 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste and 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste.

And the Green Chilli Paste, from earlier.

Stir fry for a minute.

Then, throw in the cubed potatoes.

Add a splash of Water and stir well.

Bring to the boil, and then turn the heat to the lowest. Simmer for around 40 minutes until the potatoes are soft and all the water has dried out.

Like this!

Give it a gentle stir, and set aside until needed.

Next, time for the main event, the Kichri. Gather up your whole spices. You'll need 1 Cinnamon Stick
3 Green Cardamoms
Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
Black Peppercorns.

Peel and slice up 1/2 Large Onion.

Take a large, deep and heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat up 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil and 1 tablespoon Butter.

Once hot, throw in the whole spices. Prepare for more tantalizing aromas :)

Fry for a minute.

Then, add the chopped onion.

Stir occasionally and leave until they become ..

.. golden brown!

Add in 3 teaspoons Salt and 1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric.

Pour in 6 cups (approx 1.25 litres) Water. It's very important that you measure your water with the same cup that you measured your rice and lentils with.

Bring the water to the boil.

Drain the rice and lentils.

And, add them to the pan. Bring to the boil, and then cover. Turn the heat to the lowest and let it cook for 30 minutes.

And, it's done!

Give it a gentle stir and set aside until needed.

Next, the Kari. First, we need to make a Green Chutney. So, into the same blender in which I blitzed the chillies earlier, place 2 Green Chilllies and 1 Garlic Clove, peeled.

Handful Fresh Coriander

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 teaspoon Desiccated Coconut

And, 1 teaspoon Peanut Butter.

Blend until smooth. You'll only need about a tablespoon for the Kari, so you can use the rest as a chutney - just make sure to season it first.

Now, the Kari. Into a deep saucepan, throw in 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds and 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds. Roast for 1 minute.

Add 1 tablespoon Butter.

Allow it to melt.

Add some of the Green Chutney.

Let it sizzle for a minute.

Pour in a mixture of 470 grams Yoghurt and 1 pint Water.

And, 1 teaspoon Salt and 1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric. Mix well.

Bring to the boil, and keep stirring.

Make a paste with 1 heaped tablespoon Gram Flour and 1/4 cup (60ml) Water.

Pour it through a sieve into the Kari.

Add a few Curry Leaves.

Stir well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, it's ready! 

Serve the Kichri ..

.. topped with the Kari ..

.. and the Rai Potatoes! 

Serve the traditional Gujarati way with Indian pickles, chutneys, poppadoms and salad!

Full Written Recipe:

Husnaas’ Mums’ Gujarati Kari Kitchri with Rai Potatoes

(Heavily Adapted from Husnaas’ Mums’ Recipe)

For the Kitchri
½ Large Onion, peeled and sliced
2 cups (400g) Basmati Rice
1 cup (200g) Red Lentils (Masoor Daal)
3 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
3 Green Cardamoms
3 Cloves
5 Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
6 cups (approx 1.25 litres) Water (measure with the same cup that the rice and lentils were measured with)

For the Kari
470g Carton of Whole Plain Yoghurt mixed with 1 pint Water
1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Green Chutney
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 heaped tablespoon Gram Flour mixed with ¼ cup water until smooth
Few Curry Leaves

For the Green Chutney
Handful of Fresh Coriander
2 Green Chillies
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Desiccated Coconut
1 teaspoon Peanut Butter

For the Rai Potatoes
7 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
3 Green Chillies, blended with a little water
½ teaspoon Ginger Paste
½ teaspoon Garlic Paste
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Splash of Water

To Serve
Indian Pickles, of your choice
Salad, of your choice
Indian Chutneys, of your choice
Poppadoms, of your choice


1. First, for the Kichri, mix, wash and soak the rice and lentils in a bowl for 30 minutes.

2. Next, to make the Rai Potatoes, prepare the potatoes.

3. In a large frying pan, roast the mustard seeds and cumin seeds for 1 minute. Add the oil and fry for another minute.

4. Add the salt, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, blended green chillies, ginger paste and garlic paste. Mix well and fry for a minute.

5. Throw in the cubed potatoes and stir well to make sure they are coated in all the masala. Add a splash of water and bring to the boil.

6. Once boiling, turn the heat right down. Cover and simmer for approx 40 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked. Remove the heat and set aside until needed.

7. To make the Kichri, heat the oil and butter in a large deep saucepan which is heavy-bottomed. Add the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, green cardamoms, cloves, black peppercorns and bay leaf. Fry for 1 minute, and then add the chopped onion. Leave until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

8. Add in the water, salt and ground turmeric. Bring to the boil.

9. Once boiling, drain the rice and lentils. Add them to the pan. Bring to the boil again.

10.    Turn the heat to the lowest, and cover. Leave to cook for 30 minutes, and then serve.

11.    For the Kari, first make the Green Chutney. Blend together the fresh coriander, green chillies, garlic, ground cumin, desiccated coconut and peanut butter until smooth.

12.    Next, the actual Kari. Take a deep saucepan, and heat on a medium heat. Add the fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Heat for 1 minute.

13.    Add the butter and let it melt. Then add 1 tablespoon of the Green Chutney, and let it sizzle for 1 minute.

14.    Pour in the yoghurt and water mixture, and stir in. Then, add in the salt and ground turmeric.

15.    Bring to the boil, and keep stirring.

16.    Pour in the gram flour paste through a sieve, and add the curry leaves. Bring to the boil and then simmer, covered on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

17.    Serve the Kari Kitchri with the Rai Potatoes and pickles, salad, chutneys and poppadoms of your choice – Enjoy!

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