We’re all busy… busy being busy, as my friend likes to say. Several years ago I posted a recipe for an Indian dish called kichari. While healthy and delicious, it admittedly takes a relatively long time to prepare. Here is the answer for those of us without a personal chef. It differs from kichari in that it is more hearty and not soupy, but it is equally tasty. The dish will take you all of 5 minutes of prep time, and 43 minutes to cook. If you are really hungry, you can start cooking the rice and lentils and throw in the other ingredients after you chop them for a total time of 43 minutes start to dinner bell. Here is what you will need:
A fuzzy logic rice cooker. Yes this part is important, because a regular rice cooker will burn the lentils. Alternatively, you can cook this on a stove top, but that takes away from the appeal of the set it and forget it ease of the rice cooker. And if you end up cooking this dish as often as I do, you will want to have this convenience. The rice cooker I have is no longer available, but here is one that is similar.
1 C. brown rice
1/4 C. red lentils or mung dahl (available at Whole Foods under the moniker of “golden lentils”)
2-1/2 C. water, or enough to fill to slightly above the 1 C. line of the rice cooker
1 Tbs. olive oil or ghee
1 tsp. cumin
3 pinches of turmeric
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 C. chopped kale or other leafy dark green
Salt to taste
Add everything except the greens and salt to the rice cooker, close it and press start. I find that the “normal” setting as opposed to the “brown rice” setting yields the best result. And be sure not to use the “abnormal” setting, as that can cause flatulence ;). When 10 minutes remain on the timer, open the rice cooker (careful not to burn yourself), and add the greens. Add salt to taste and serve.
In terms of therapeutic properties, the red lentil targets the heart health, whereas the mung bean target the liver and has more of a detoxing effect. The garlic is antiviral and cholesterol lowering properties, and turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory and pain killer properties, among many other health enhancing effects.
This dish is a staple of my diet, and I eat it several times a week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.