Attempting to copy Mrs. Yeti’s Kichidi

I first learnt of kichidi while eating at Mrs Y.’s table. I can’t believe I never knew of this before!

Funny isn’t it, comfort food takes similar forms and evokes similar feelings despite which cuisine it originates from. I think an ill version of me would be just as happy eating kichidi as Chinese porridge. Well maybe say, 80% as happy. That’s still pretty close. A healthy me would also be happy because both taste pretty good. I happily ate mine with accompanying dishes while at Mrs Y’s, when I recreated this at home I was too hungry and ate it straight from the pot. Shh.

As much as I’d like to say this is Mrs Y’s original recipe, it isn’t. This is because she appears to make it very fast and when I tried to watch her one time I lost track.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Kichidi

Adapted from Padhu’s Kitchen, changing a few ingredients and the rice:dhal ratio. 

I’ve also made this recipe with loads of ingredients missing and it still tasted pretty nice – I’ve marked those that I’ve tried it without. I’d suggest you don’t try making it so bare bones that all of the stuff is left out at the same time though

1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup dhal – I used the orange dhal
2 cups water – I used 1:2 for each of the rice and dhal so check what your rice and dhal packet says 

1 teasp mustard seeds – without is okay
1 teasp cumin seeds
1/4 teasp whole black pepper (or just black pepper if you don’t have it whole)
A few curry leaves – without is okay
A pinch of hing (asafoetida) – without is okay

1 onion, chopped
2 dried chillies – technically you should use one green chilli, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 a thumb of ginger, chopped
1 tomato, chopped – original recipe doesn’t have this, but it is a nice option if you want it

1/4 teasp turmeric powder – without is okay
1 teasp chilli powder
1/2 teasp coriander powder – without is okay
1/4 teasp garam masala

Other utensils: pressure cooker or a lot of patience.

  1. Fry the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in a little oil over medium heat, until they start to dance. Then, add in the black pepper, curry leaves, and hing (if using). Give it a bit of a stir until it smells nice.
  2. Add the onion, cook until it goes a bit transparant and soft.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic, and dry/fresh chilli. Fry until fragrant. Add tomato and cook until soft if using.
  4. Add all the powders, give it a quick stir for a couple of seconds.
  5. Add the rice and dhal, and fry it until coated with oil. Add some salt to taste.
  6. Add the water, and close the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook on high for 9 minutes.  If you don’t a pressure cooker, close the lid on your pot and be prepared to wait around 20 minutes. Taste and salt as needed.

After that you can garnish with fried onions, or coriander, or a top-up garnish (see the original author’s link). I didn’t do any of these because I was already happy with the taste 🙂

Grandpa’s English Kitchen: Oxtail Stew

When I was little, my grandpa made the long trip to visit us every year, until he was 98 years old. He used to cook sometimes, and my favourite dish was his oxtail stew. That sounds a bit odd, coming from someone who is an inconsistent flexitarian. However, this is different, and once you try it, you will know.

Close your eyes and imagine you are in a little cute english kitchen with wood panelled walls and a yellow table cloth. There’s a jack russel running around somewhere, and horses and cows outside, please don’t forget to take your muddy wellingtons off at the door.

Grandpa’s English Kitchen: Oxtail Stew

Oxtail – 4 slices. Get it fresh from your butcher!
Onions – 2 large ones. I used 3 as I had smaller ones.
Pearl barley – a handful, I like barley so I add more. This time I added a cup.
Oxo cubes – 2. Any other beef stock should also work, but Oxo comes out tastiest.
Lea & Perrins sauce – 2-3 table spoons
Bay leaf – two or three
Tomato paste – 2 tablespoons
Carrots – chopped
Any other vege you like – potato  and button mushrooms would be nice, you can use other vege like pumpkin but just be warned that it will change the flavour a bit
Water – enough to cover everything, and a bit more

  1. Heat everything in a big pot with the water, until it is boiling. Don’t add your extra vege at this stage, only the carrots.
  2. Add any extra vege. Use your cooking method of choice to finish:
  • Oven – pour into a large oven-proof dish. Make sure there is enough water in the dish to cover the ingredients, and cover with silver foil. Stick it in the oven at about 180-200 degrees celcius. Leave it there for about 3 to 4 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is enough water.
  • Slow Cooker – pour into a slow cooker. Make sure there is enough water in the pot to cover the ingredients. Leave it on low setting for 8-10 hours, or 7-8 hours on high setting. If you are going to leave it alone for the whole day or overnight, add extra water and use low setting. (I haven’t tried this, this is just how I was told to cook the stew)
  • Pressure Cooker – pour into pressure cooker. Make sure there is an inch or more of water covering the ingredients. Close the lid and cook on high until it boils, then reduce the temperature and leave it on the stove for an hour or so.
    Pressure cooking can be scary and dangerous, it’s important to read the manual (I didn’t, who needs manuals, it’s a pot, it can’t be so hard, and so on). As a result there was some kitchen excitement as I tried to open the lid for the first time.

    Sauce trajectory:

    Caution, hot soup burns sometimes.

  •  Keep going until the meat gets so tender it drops off the bone.

It’s nice with crusty bread or potato (if you didn’t already put potato in the sauce).