Youmay substitute two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) for the dried chickpeas. If you do, add them to the pot at the same time you would have added the cooked beans. Feel free to experiment with different types of rice, legumes, vegetables and even meat. Make sure your vegetables are cut small enough to cook through in a relatively short amount of time; if you’re using something on the harder side, such as beets, try cooking them separately first.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 cup basmati rice
3 tablespoons ghee (may substi
tute vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
(about 1½ cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed,
seeded and finely chopped 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root,
minced (about 1 tablespoon) 1 teaspoon ground turmeric ⅛ teaspoon EACH: sweet pa
prika, ground cayenne pepper 1 large carrot, cut into ½ - inch
dice (about 1 cup)
1 small sweet potato, cut into
½-inch dice (about 1 cup) 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
Mango chutney, for serving
1 cup plain whole yogurt 8 ounces (about 11) Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped (generous 1 cup) ½ teaspoon EACH: ground
cumin, kosher salt
Kichidi: Soak the chickpeas overnight (or at least 8 hours) in 4 cups of water. Transfer the beans and the soaking liquid to amedium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook until soft, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, give the rice a quick rinse and soak it in water in a medium bowl for 30minutes.
While the rice soaks, in a Dutch oven or other heavy- bottomed pot over medium- high heat, heat the ghee until it shimmers. Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, ginger, turmeric, paprika and cayenne. Simmer vigorously, stirring frequently, to reduce the mixture to the consistency of a thick marinara sauce, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the carrot, sweet potato, cooked chickpeas and 4 more cups of water. Increase the heat to medium- high. When the mixture comes to a boil, drain the rice and add to the pot. Add the salt, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot; uncover and stir occasionally. Themixture should be gently simmering, not boiling, so adjust the heat as needed. Cook until the rice has absorbed almost all the water and the mixture is thick and soupy, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro.
Raita: While the kichidi cooks, in a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, dates, cumin and salt. Serve the cold raita with the hot kichidi, along with the mango chutney, if using.
The kichidi can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The raita can also be refrigerated during that time, though the consistency will thicken as the dates absorb the moisture from the yogurt.
Nutrients per serving ( based on 6, using all the raita): 520 calories, 13 grams fat ( 7 grams saturated), 11 milligrams cholesterol, 740milligrams sodium, 88 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fiber, 37 grams sugars, 14 grams protein.
— Adapted from chef VikramSunderam of Rasika in Washington