Dal, Rice, and Vegetable Porridge

(Khichuri)

This rice and dal porridge—the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian breakfast dish called kedgeree— is traditionally eaten by Bengalis during the monsoon season (June through September).

Dal, Rice, and Vegetable Porridge
This rice and dal porridge is the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian breakfast dish called kedgeree.
Yield: serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 (3") piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup masoor dal
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 carrots, cut crosswise into 1⁄3" slices
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced crosswise
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1 1⁄2" strips
  • 12 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1" × 2" florets
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 14 cup mustard oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 whole dried chile, such as árbol, halved, seeds discarded
  • 1 tbsp. whole black cumin seeds
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • Sweet mango chutney
  • 12 hard-cooked eggs

Instructions

  1. Put ginger into a mortar and crush with a pestle to form a paste. (Alternatively, put ginger into a small food processor along with 1 tbsp. water and pulse until a paste forms.) Set aside.
  2. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine dals and rice in a large bowl, cover with water, and swish around with your hand until water clouds. Drain and repeat process until water runs clear. Drain dals and rice; return to bowl.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add dals and rice, bay leaves, and turmeric and stir to combine. Return to a boil and skim off and discard any foam that rises to surface. Add ginger paste, tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, cauliflower, ground cumin, sugar, and salt to taste and stir to combine. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium-low to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is cooked through and vegetables are softened, 18–20 minutes. Stir in peas and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove khichuri from heat.
  4. Heat mustard oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add halved chile and fry until almost black, 1–2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and fry briefly, 3–5 seconds. Carefully pour oil, chile, and cumin seeds over khichuri, stir to combine, and season with salt to taste. Spoon into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of mustard oil. Serve with mango chutney and hard-boiled eggs, to be mashed up in the khichuri.