Today I am sharing another dish that was really popular in our home. I remember eating this often in our home and as kids it was something we loved. This Kitchari with yellow split peas is a dish made with rice and yellow split pea dal and it is a comforting soup like dish. It is an ayurvedic dish that helps detox the body and balance our doshas (according to Ayurveda it’s the three energies that define our makeup). Apparently when yogis need to cleanse their bodies and soul they eat this dish because it provides them will all the nutrients.
My family loves this simple, yet delicious dish. Even my fussy kids could eat this without a complaint. I asked my hubby what he would like to eat today and he requested this dish. But he says “please call my mum and ask her how to cook it”. Well he nearly didn’t have dinner tonight. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against my mum-in-law giving me her recipe. We share recipes all the time. Did he forget that I can cook this and I have cooked it hundreds of times, well not hundreds but close enough. Men!!!
Anyway after I cooked it and he ate it, he said “that was delicious, even better than my mums”. I think he knows what’s good for him…Lol! Yes I can cook a delicious Kitchari.
This Kitchari is loaded with butter, trust me it needs a whole lot of butter. I used my pressure cooker to cook my dal and rice. I then tempered my spices and added it to the dal/rice mixture. Tempering is a process where the spices are cooked in oil, in this case butter to release its flavours.
You can cook yours totally on the stovetop but here in Johannesburg we would probably wait until tomorrow if I tried cooking it that way. Kitchari with Yellow Split Peas is not a difficult dish to cook, you just need a bit of extra time. Kitchari is typically served with a tomato chutney here in South Africa. I will post my chutney recipe shortly.
Kitchari with Yellow Split Peas
- 1/2 cup yellow split peas
- 4 cups water you may need a little more
- 1/2 tspn turmeric
- 1&1/2 tspn salt
- 3/4 cup Basmati Rice
- 70 grams butter
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 tspn cumin seeds
- 1/2 tspn mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- 4 dry chillies broken in half
- Rinse dal, place it in the pressure cooker with 2 cups water, salt and turmeric and cook for one hour. If you are cooking it on the stovetop cook it on low-medium heat until dal is soft
- Once dal is cooked wash the Basmati rice and add it to the dal. Add another 2 cups of water and cook until the rice is cooked.
- Heat the butter on the stovetop on medium heat with a drop of oil, to prevent burning. Add the mustard seeds and cumin and fry until it bursts.
- Reduce heat to a low setting. Add the onion, curry leaf and dry chillies and fry until the onion is golden brown
- Mix it into the rice/dal mixture. Serve hot
- You may need more or less water, as I mentioned previously altitude does affect the amount of water needed to cook certain dishes
- Butter ghee can be used instead of butter, you may have to reduce the amount
- Kitchari is best served hot when it's freshly cooked. If you are serving it later you can add a little bit of warm water before heating it up as it is meant to be a moist dish
- The quantity can be doubled if you are cooking for a family. This was meant just for my hubby and I but it was enough to serve us for 2 meals