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Mushroom kedgeree (Kumbh ki khichri)

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

khichri is usually eaten when sick or relegated to home fare never to be served to guests. There are numerous classic recipes in every region of India and it is unfortunate that this dish bears such a low esteem. Khichri is so essential to everyday cuisine that its taste is tied deeply to family and home, it forms the basis of taste memory in almost every Indian.

Thanks to great chefs like Atul, khichri is now seen on some of the best tables around the world. Khichri is one of my favourite dishes and I am overjoyed whenever I see it on the menu. I also add it regularly to my curated dinners, at first my guests complain, but once they take a bite they are usually very happy.

This khichri is superb. I must admit that I did adjust the recipe a bit, I did not add the large volume of truffles, which are insanely expensive in India, but substituted dried porcini instead. The dish is definitely for mushroom lovers, rich, decadent and loaded with earthy mushroom flavours. The light spices accent the flavours and the chilli flakes add the pop of mild spice. I am loving this khichri and can serve it either as a side for grilled meat dishes, both Indian or Western dishes and also as a small bite as a mid-course. It is a perfect main course for vegetarians too.

This is a very complex cookbook, for the advanced chef and one who really, really loves to cook. Beautiful dishes, picture-perfect presentations and perfectly balanced flavours are the highlight of this modern Indian cookbook. This restaurant is so on my bucket list! This cookbook is a must for the serious chef who wants more than the average Indian fare.

For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.



Ingredients:

1 cup toor (pigeon) peas

1 cup jeera kasala or basmati or rice

3 tablespoons ghee

1 1-inch piece cinnamon stick

4 green cardamom pods

10 black peppercorns

2 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 onion, finely minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups water or stock


1/2 cup tight;y packed dried porcini or wild mushrooms, soaked overnight

4 tablespoons oil or ghee


3 packets mushrooms, 1 pack thinly sliced and 2 packs minced finely

Salt, to taste

1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Chilli flakes, to taste


A few drops of truffle oil

Fried papads (optional)

Mango pickle (optional)

Fried dahi mirchi (optional)


Soak the rice and lentils overnight.


Heat the ghee in a pot and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom, peppercorns, and cloves and sautèe for 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds and give a quick spin. Add the onions and garlic and fry on low heat till the onions are translucent and soft, but have not taken on any colour.


Meanwhile, squeeze out the water from the dried mushrooms and chop them very finely. Save the soaking liquids for later.


Add the drained rice, lentils and chopped dried mushrooms and fry till the rice grains turn white and are coated in the oil, about 5 minutes on high heat. Add the strained mushroom liquids and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, add 3 tablespoons of the ghee to a wide frying pan and add the chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper and fry on high heat. The mushrooms will give to water that will dry out again and will turn a golden brown.


Add to the rice and continue to cook for another 30 minutes till the rice starts breaking down and the lentils are very soft. Adjust with water if needed. The khichri should have a thick but runny oatmeal-like consistency.


Fry the sliced mushrooms like above. In the end, take off the stove and toss with the chilli flakes. and set aside.


To serve, heat the khichadi up till hot, and adjust the consistency with water, as the khichri sits it tends to thicken. Ladle into small bowls and top with the heated fried mushroom slices, chilli flakes and a few drops of truffle oil. Serve immediately with the other accompaniments if desired.




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