Spinach mushroom kitchri

9 Sep

spinach mushroom kitchri

This thick porridge of mung beans and rice might look like something Oliver Twist would have declined, but for me, a warm bowl of khitchri is pure comfort food.

The original recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook.

Over time, I’ve adapted the quantities and technique a bit, and swapped out some of the spinach for sliced mushrooms, which adds a nice textural element.

Spinach mushroom kitchri
(serves 4-6)

  • ½ cup mung beans, rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 1 cm thick piece of ginger (sliced crosswise)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 300g fresh baby spinach, washed
  • 150g mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 Tb sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into thin half moons
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper and chopped coriander leaves, to serve
  1. In a large, heavy pot over a medium-high flame, bring the mung beans and water to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about half an hour, or until just tender.
  2. Stir in the rice and ginger, and turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the salt, spinach and mushrooms. Cover and cook for another half hour, stirring regularly, and adding a splash of water if the kitchri seems too thick.
  4. In a small frying pan, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the asafoetida, then the cumin seeds. Cook until they just start to brown.
  5. Add the onions, and fry until golden and softened.
  6. Stir in the cumin, coriander and chilli powder, then scrape the mixture into the kitchri and stir to combine.
  7. Season with freshly ground pepper, and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

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