Monday, March 11, 2013

Luscious, Meatless, Fun: Kitchari - Indian Spiced Rice and Lentils

I love lentils. Orange, yellow, brown, green, black, you name it – I like them. I didn’t grow up eating lentils, for me they were an adult discovery. When I found dal, the name of legumes in Indian food, I fell in love. For years I ordered two things in every Indian restaurant I frequented. I didn’t prefer the tikka masala or butter chicken, oh no. At the top of my order were Dal Tadka, the yummy Lentil Curry, and Saag Panar, the delicious fresh cheese and spinach dish that is spicy and soothing at the same time.

So it was my sister who first introduced me to Kitchari, the lentil and rice combo that is full of flavor and is light and super easy to prepare. I like to make a double recipe and have leftovers to scoop into naan bread later in the week. See if this recipe doesn’t make you and your family happy eaters for dinner and lunch the next day and for snacks the following.


2 Cups Brown Basmati Rice
2/3 Cup Red Lentils (or any color you can find!)
6 Cups Water
2 EACH Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Sweet Potato, chopped
2 TB Olive Oil
½  Cup Chopped Green Onions + more for garnish
¼ Cup Pumpkin Seeds
2 TB Garam Masala
1 TB Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
3 TB Braggs Amino Acids* (optional)
1 Cup Coconut Milk
¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper

Step One
Place the rice, lentils and water in a stockpot. Bring a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

Step Two
Add the zucchini, yellow squash and sweet potato to the pot, layering them on top of the rice and lentils. Cover again and cook until the mixture has absorbed all the water – about 20 minutes.

Step Three
In a sauté pan, heat the oil and cook the green onions and pumpkin seeds with the turmeric, garam masala and a good grating of black pepper. Cook until the green onions are wilted about 5 minutes. Stir in the Braggs, coconut milk and cook and stir until warm. Add in the lemon juice.

Step Four
Spoon the coconut mixture into the cooked rice and veggie pot and gently stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with the green onions.

*For this recipe I like to use Braggs Amino Acids. They are a liquid amino acid that you can find in the health food section of your grocery store. They add a delicious “umami” taste to the dish without salt, fat or calories.


Jennifer Walters said...

This sounds yummy. I cannot wait to try. Do you have a Naan bread recipe that you've shared or do you buy it?

Nancy Waldeck said...

Jennifer - so sorry I just saw this comment! I do have a wonderful Naan recipe - I will make sure to post it soon!