Tuesday 22 May 2018

Our House Kichri.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Me and kichri go way back.

In our house, it's this simple dish of rice and lentils which has always been associated with someone who is sick.
Because it's quite light and soft in texture, kichri is all at once nourishing and comforting to the ill person.

When I was younger, I wasn't a fan. The smell alone would make me feel sick, never mind cure me. It wasn't until I was at school that I was introduced to Gujarati kichri. The Gujuratis cooked it slightly differently to the Punjabi method that I had never been a fan of. They even served it topped with ladlefuls of kadhi, something which shocked my Punjabi mother who would only ever dream of serving the yoghurt curry with hot buttered rotis.

Bringing us back to the present day and, I still wasn't a major kichri fan. Until that is, my cousin had a baby. The little madam is now nearly two years old and eats quite well. When she was just starting out on food, her grandmother would cook kichri for her. Oh, she filled it with all sorts. Chicken, vegetables, lentils and of course, rice. The little one lapped it up and in the process made me curious. Did it actually taste good?

And so finally, a few weeks back, I asked my Mother to cook her traditional kichri recipe. She did and to my great surprise, I loved it. The taste was so simple yet left us all feeling very comforted and satisfied. I hope it brings the same feeling to you. Kichri is a great dish to cook at Iftar when we're always told not to overdo it with the food. I would serve it after the dates and water with a fruit platter and maybe an onion bhaji or two. It is Ramadan after all.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Basmati Rice
2. Red Lentils
3. Butter
4. Vegetable Oil
5. Cumin Seeds
6. Salt
7. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

Measure out 225g Basmati Rice.

To it, add 90g Red Lentils (Masoor Daal).

Mix the two up.

Wash the rice and lentils in a few changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Then, cover with water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a pot over a medium-low heat, add in 100g Butter.

Drizzle in 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil which will stop the butter from burning.

Let the butter nearly finish melting then add in 3 teaspoons Cumin Seeds, roughly crushed.

Stir fry the butter and cumin until fragrant.

Then, drain the rice and lentils before adding them to the pan.

Also, add in 1 teaspoon Salt.

Stir fry for a few minutes.

Time for the first of three additions of water. Pour in 500ml Water.

Stir in and bring to the boil.

Then, cover with a lid and cook over the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

Uncover ....

... and give everything a stir.

Pour in 500ml Water.

Stir and bring to the boil.

Cover again with a lid to cook for 15 minutes over the lowest heat.

Uncover and give the kichri a stir.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. We added in 1 teaspoon Salt.

Pour in the final addition of water. This is 300ml Water.

Let the kichri bubble again before ...

... you guessed it! Covering with a lid and cooking on the lowest heat for 10-20 minutes.

Once the kichri is creamy in texture and the rice is fully cooked, it's done!

This kichri is best served hot for a very comforting treat.

Our House Kichri.

The classic rice and lentil dish ready to cure whatever ails you.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 4 people.


225g Basmati Rice
90g Red Lentils
100g Butter
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
3 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Salt + more, if needed
Water, as needed

Soak the rice and lentils:

  • Put the rice and lentils into a bowl and wash in a few changes of cold water until  the water runs clear. Then, cover with water and soak for 10 minutes.

Cook the kichri:

  • Melt the butter and oil in a deep pot over a medium low heat. Roughly crush the cumin seeds and add them to the pan. Fry until fragrant before draining the rice and lentils. Add them in along with the salt. Stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Stir in 500ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover the pan with a lid and cook on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and give the kichri a stir. Add 500ml water, bring to the boil and again cover with a lid before cooking on low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Stir the kichri and taste. Adjust the salt, if needed. Add 300ml water before covering and cooking on low heat for another 10-20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and creamy in texture. Serve hot.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your kichri.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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