Before grain bowls, dragon bowls, or poke there was Khichdi- an extraordinary, full flavored, healing bowl of rice, lentils, and a shit ton of spices. To say the least, Khichdi is magical: an addictive combination of ingredients that when cooked slowly turns into a delicious, heart, and good-for-you-meal that is just fine as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Khichdi originated in South Asia, but has been adapted throughout India and the Middle East- it is a true melting pot of cultures and history. What I love about this dish is how forgiving and adaptable it is. A blank slate to seasonal fluctuations and local availability. Make it with brown rice or quinoa, green or french lentils, cumin or turmeric, either way you will find yourself smacking your lips, asking for more. I encourage you, though, to try to use the freshest spices you can find, as these are the backbone to the dish.
Here, I am serving it with pan roasted cauliflower, lots of avocado, and sprouts. You could, nonetheless, serve this with whatever vegetable you are into: squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, string beans, and asparagus are some effortless alternatives. If you are feeling like you might need little bit more sustenance, add couple poached eggs or a simple protein to take this bowl to the next level.
Aromatic, earthy, and nurturing Kichidi is the original bowl.
Wild Rice Khichdi with Roasted Cauliflower
1 large heavy pot with lid
1 cast iron skillet
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced small
- 1 heavy pinch of salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 small fresh or dried thai chiles
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 cup green lentils
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup coconut water or coconut milk
- ½ medium cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 avocado
- handful sprouts
- sesame seeds, to garnish
- tahini, to garnish
- To cook the khichdi: Place the coconut oil in the large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Warm the oil through for 3-5 minutes.
- Add diced onions and a heavy pinch of salt. Cook, tossing occasionally until onions soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
- Add garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and chile flakes. Toss for a couple of minutes. The spices should become fragrant when toasted.
- Add the wild rice and the lentil into the pot with the water and the coconut water or milk. Add another pinch of salt and stir once. Bring to a soft boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until most of the water has been absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).
- Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes. Khichdi is ready when rice and lentils are both tender and plump. If the rice is not ready at this point, add another ½ cup of the water and cook for 5-10 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Taste for seasoning!
- To make the cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into florets. Place the cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then heat through for a couple of minutes.
- Add cauliflower florets into the skillet. Cook, turning once, for ten minutes. Try not to overcrowd the pan. If you have to, cook in two batches. Cauliflower is ready when tender and golden on the edges.
- To serve: Scoop a couple spoonful of the khichdi into bowls. Add cooked cauliflower, sliced avocado, and sprouts. Sprinkle sesame seeds and tahini to garnish and serve immediately.
Cook time 50-60 minutes