Chana Dal and Cauliflower Kitchari with Green Peas

Chana Dal and Cauliflower Kitchari with Green Peas

Kitcharis (or "khichdi") are an easy Indian meal idea that generally consists of rice and split legumes and often vegetables. Very easy to digest, with a minimum of spices, all of your nutrients are served up in one glorious bowl. I used chana dal, basmati rice, cauliflower and green peas to keep us going for a few days.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup dried chana dal or yellow split peas
  • 3/4 cup white basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive or sesame oil
  • 1 large shallot or small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Thoroughly rinse the chana dal or split peas and soak in enough water to cover for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the rice and soak in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and let air dry in a strainer for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing the grains occasionally.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot or onion, ginger, chilies and cumin seeds, and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes until the shallot begins to soften. Toss in the asafetida, stir once, and then immediately add the cauliflower. Cook for a minute or two and then add the tomato, turmeric and garam masala. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice and chana dal or split peas to the pan, stir for a minute, and then pour in the reserved rice soaking water plus an additional 3 1/2 cups water, coconut milk and peas. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed — about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let the kitchari sit for 5 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Serve hot or warm.
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