Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Learning Curve

Kichdi Surprise

I still remember the first time I made kichdi. It fills me with mirth and I choke with silent laughter each time I think about it.. My mum was out of station, returning that day, it was her birthday and I felt like cooking something special for her. So out came her cookery book. I went through it once, twice and yet again and then decided on kichdi as it seemed so easy. The ingredients were measured and laid out and I was practically smirking inside at how easy it was going to be. Alas in my zeal I did not read the most important instruction " add salt last or the dhal will not cook." In those days my mum made rice in a pot on the stove, so I followed suit. Everything went into the pot and it began to boil. Enticing aromas filled the air and my hungry syblings trooped into the kitchen to taste my culinary masterpiece. The rice boiled and boiled and boiled; the water got over, so I added more and this went on and on and on. I wondered why my mum had written "takes 45 minutes only" when hours had elapsed. We were all hungrily prowling in the kitchen when my mum returned. She took one look at our gloomy faces and said "when did you add the salt?." And that's how I became an expert at making kichdi!

The Recipe:

Kichdi Surprise

1 cup basmati rice, wash and drain.
1 onion sliced; ½ cup masoor dhal or green gram dhal wash and drain
1 onion sliced; 1 tsp pepper corns coarsely powdered; 1 tbsp ghee; salt to taste; 2 cups hot water, salt to taste.
Place all ingredients in rice cooker. Cook till done.
If using pressure cooker keep for 5 minutes after pressure. Remove, fluff and serve hot with beef and beans.
NB: (the advent of the pressure cooker and other devices made cooking dhal so much easier with or without salt)

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