He’s home! He’s home! Everything is better when Daddy is home. From Sunday to Tuesday I cooked 2 dinners, baked one cake, and even a batch of cookies. That is the Daddy Difference, since before that I was pushing canned soup at my kids and pleading with them to just go to bed (ok it wasn’t quite that bad–but close).
I made this khichari (Indian rice and legume dish, sometimes spelled khichdi; this particular one is Gujarati) on Sunday night, the night he got home, because I figured it would reheat well when he got in at night, and be sufficiently mild to eat right before bed (I was right). Unfortunately, Alex really disliked it–I think we may have discovered she dislikes dill, because honestly it is a hearty but mild dish. In Gujarat, India, it is considered comfort food, simple and easy to digest. I was shocked at how much she did not care for it, given that she likes rice and split peas. So we did not have it a second night (I donated the leftovers to a dill-loving friend), but Sammy and John liked it and I loved it. Under other, more energetic circumstances, this dish would be especially nice with a vegetable curry to go with it.
I am so excited because after taking many months off, I am remembering to submit this dish to My Legume Love Affair (currently being run by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen), which has got to be one of the coolest long running blog events ever! Created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook (in what feels like the dark ages of food blogging, like 2008 or so), it is hosted by someone different each month, and this month it is being hosted by Claire of Chez Cayenne: Recipes from a Spicy Vegetarian Kitchen. Be sure to check out Claire’s blog early next month for a vegetarian round up of all of the fabulous legume dishes made this month.
- 3/4 cup yellow split peas
- 1 t turmeric
- 1 t paprika
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 2 t salt, plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup Basmati rice
- 3 T ghee
- 2 t cumin seeds
- 1/4 t asafetida
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 t garam masala plus more to taste
- 2 medium-large tomatoes cut into large chunks (I used frozen from last summer)
- Chopped dill for garnish
- Greek yogurt for garnish
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Fill a pot with water and add the split peas, turmeric, paprika and dill. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Cook the split peas under they are tender but not yet totally soft, maybe around 20 minutes but it will depend on your peas.
Add the salt and the rice. Cook until the rice is tender but al dente and the split peas are more soft.
While the split peas are cooking, heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ghee and cumin seeds. Roast the seeds until they are darker and fragrant. Add the asafetida and let cook for 15 seconds, and then add the onions.
Cook, tossing occasionally, until the onions are quite caramelized, around 15 minutes. If the onions start to stick or scorch, add a splash or 2 of water.
In the meantime, when the rice and split peas are cooked through but al dente for the rice, drain them completely.
Add the garam masala to the onions, and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the tomatoes to the onions and toss until they are hot and coated in ghee. Then add the rice and split peas.
Toss everything together and then cover with a heavy lid. place in the 300 F oven for 20 minutes.
Garnish with chopped dill when serving and make sure to serve with Greek yogurt if you are not serving a curry, because otherwise this khichari will taste a little dry.