Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rice and Red Lentil Pilaf - Kichiri

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is the dish you get when an Irish lass decides to make a wonderful Indian comfort food called kichiri. This is an easy, satisfying and cheap eat. I, however, managed to complicate it with a decision to make ghee, an oil that some call the clarified butter of India. Actually clarified butter and ghee are not the same thing. While there are similarities, ghee is cooked until all moisture is removed and the milk solids in the butter are caramelized. This gives it a rich nutty taste and assures that the "butter" has a long shelf life and a higher smoking point than its counterpart. I have a local source for ghee, but I wanted to attempt making it on my own. My curiosity is now satisfied and ghee is now on my been there, done that list. Vegetable oil or a mixture of one part oil to one part butter can also be used to make this pilaf. As you glance through the recipe you'll see that it is one that you can easily make your own. If you are unable to find red lentils substitute yellow. I will also add some heat the next time I make this pilaf. It is a wonderful accompaniment to curry or eggs. Here's the recipe.

Rice and Red Lentil Pilaf - Kichiri...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


2 tablespoons ghee, vegetable oil or a mix of butter and oil

6 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 teaspoon kosher salt + salt to taste

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup long grain white rice

1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dahl)

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1) Heat ghee or oil in a large frying pan that has a lid; set over medium-high heat

and warm until oil shimmers. Add garlic and ginger and toss until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, combine salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander and pepper flakes in a small bowl.

3) Stir spice mixture into onions and cook for 1 minute, tossing to make sure everything is combined. Stir in rice and lentils and cook 5 minutes longer. Add vegetable stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir well, reduce heat, cover pan and cook for 20 minutes. Do not remove lid. Remove pan from heat. Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover pan and gently fluff rice with a fork. Stir in cilantro and serve hot or warm. Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Balti Chicken - One Perfect Bite

Kedgeree - One Perfect Bite

Braised Pork Chops with Homemade Curry and Chutney Sauce - One Perfect Bite

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