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Khichuri - Bengali Red Lentil Risotto

Rinku Bhattacharya, 26 Sep, 2018
  • Khichuri - Bengali Red Lentil Risotto
A khichuri (or khichdi) is a classic rice and lentil mélange, prepared differently all over India. This particular red lentil variation is from Bengal. It is distinct in its use of fried onions to imbue rich flavor and cauliflower, potatoes, green peas, and a beautiful drizzle of cumin-scented ghee round out this hearty, comforting dish. To make this dish vegan, you can use coconut oil instead of the ghee. 
 
SERVES 4 to 6
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Sauté Time: 7 minutes / 1 minute 
Pressure Cook (Low): 4 minutes
Pressure Release: 15 minutes 
Tempering Time: 1 minute
DIETARY: GF,VG
 
INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 medium red onion, thinly
sliced
¾ cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
½ cup basmati or kalajeera rice 
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric 
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cubed
½ cup frozen green peas
 
For tempering:
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
2 whole dried red chilies
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
 
Note: If you wish, you can also throw in vegetables like broccoli or carrot for a more substantial khichuri.
 
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Set the Instant Pot® on Sauté mode and heat the oil for about 1 minute, then add the onion and sauté until they turn golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the lentils, rice, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, salt, and turmeric. Add the cauliflower, potato, and 4 cups of water and stir well.
2. Press Cancel to turn off Sauté mode, close the lid, and set the Instant Pot® on Manual Low Pressure mode for 4 minutes.
3. When cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 10 to 15 minutes, then use Quick Release for any residual pressure.
4. Once pressure is released, open pot and stir rice mixture well. Set the Instant Pot® to Sauté mode and stir in the green peas and cook for 1 minute.
5. To finish, heat the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan, add the cumin seeds, crushed red pepper, if using, and whole dried red chilies and cook until the mixture crackles and is fragrant, being careful not to burn the crushed red pepper. Pour the fragrant mixture over the khichuri and gently stir. Sprinkle on the lime juice and garnish with cilantro before serving.
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rinku Bhattacharya is a Gourmand Award-winning cookbook author, blogger and cooking instructor.  She is the author of Bengali Five Spices Chronicles and Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors. Rinku was born in Kolkata, India and has a natural passion and love for regional Indian cuisine and uses it to share and connect with her cultural heritage. She has travelled extensively and specializes in adapting Indian cuisine in global environments and kitchens. Her deep commitment to using seasonal ingredients for Indian cooking is reflected in her recipes. Rinku teaches very popular Indian cooking classes in the Hudson Valley area of New York and has been featured in newspapers, magazines and on radio. She and her family reside in the Hudson Valley area of New York. Visit her at www.SpiceChronicles.com
 
Recipes and photos from Instant Indian by Rinku Bhattacharya Hippocrene Books/October 2018
 

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