Kitchari (khichdi) - Lentil Goodness for the New Year
Like many of you, I over-indulged over the holidays. Not terribly, just a little more sugar, a little more meat, and several fewer vegetables than I like to. Yesterday, I shopped for the good stuff: spinach, peppers, lettuce, oranges, bananas, grapefruit, cabbage, eggplant, buttermilk, yogurt, and some lean beef so I can make my own ground beef. And all I wanted for dinner was a vegetarian, vegetable laden meal, satisfying, but not heavy. So I put some rice on to cook and made this.
a small thub-sized piece of ginger, minced or grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 fresh hot chili, minced, or one to two dried hot chilis
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup lentils (I used 1/2 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup split yellow peas)
water (or broth)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (optional)
Heat the oil to a shimmer. Add the onion and cook until it softens and turns golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili. Stir, cooking, 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin, mix, and cook another minute. Add the lentils and two cups of water. Stir, bring to a simmer, lower heat, and cover. Check every 15 minutes, stirring and adding water as needed. When the lentils are tender add the spinach and coconut. Cook until the spinach is wilted and tender. Add 1 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more salt as needed. Mix in butter and serve over steamed rice.
Serves 4 as a main course.