If I could eat one thing for breakfast every day, it might be kitchari, a gently spiced rice and lentil dish that holds a cherished place in Indian cooking. Also known as khichdi, the dish varies from region to region, but it’s nearly always a combination of basmati rice and dal (dried split peas or lentils, which can be found at Indian grocers or well-stocked health foods stores). White basmati or long-grain rice will yield the best results, but if you don’t have either on hand, quinoa is a good substitute.

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Gentle Morning Kitchari [Vegan]

Serves

4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3⁄4 cup white basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup dried moong dal, toor dal, urad dal, or red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups  low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Lemon wedges, chopped fresh cilantro, melted coconut oil for drizzling (optional)
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Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, and ginger and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent.
  3. Stir in the rice, dal, turmeric, cloves, salt, pepper, broth, and water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir well, and then simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the texture resembles porridge (for a soupier texture, decrease the cooking time, and for a thicker texture, cook it a bit longer).
  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve with your toppings of choice.
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