Monday, January 25, 2010

Khichri and Springroll: spring in the air

Back when I was a child, Khichri was a staple of wet, rainy days. During the monsoon season it would be flavoured with cauliflower; in winter it would be carrots and peas. Those were really "seasonal" times! Its a great one-pot meal and if necessary, can be made like a stew. The traditional Bengali khichri can be quite elaborate. There are several recipes for that on the net. My kichri is certainly not traditional but a variant which comes together beautifully. And it is rather simple. It is however full of healthy" stuff!I wanted to use up some of the lentils left over in small quantities. Also some fish stock which was at the back of the freezer. Mine was slightly soupy. We had it with some spring rolls. Again I had wrappers and frozen corn kernels to use up.


1 cup unsplit, unhusked Moong bean
1/2 cup broken wheat (dahlia)
1/2 cup brown rice
1 onion, chopped
5 spring onions, white part only, chopped
3 cloves, minced
1 litre fish stock
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes or a dash of Tabasco
3 Tablesppon white oil

5 black olives, chopped
A handful of pomegranate seeds

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Fry the onions and spring onions until translucent. Add the clove and chilli flakes. Stir for about 5 minutes more until they soften. In the meantime, wash the rice, broken wheat, lentil mix thoroughly. Use several changes of water. Add the fish stock to the fried onions and bring it to boil. Add the grains and one teaspoon of salt. Pressure cook it according to how you would cook lentils in your pressure cooker. When finished check how much more salt you need to add. You could also make it drier if that is your preference. It does need to be stirred continuously if you are boling off some of the extra broth. I garnished it with black olives and pomegranate seeds for contrast.

Corn kernel SPRING ROLLS

1 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup semi-hard cheese (I used a young Parmesan)
2 slitted, deseeded green chilli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Sechuan pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Eggwash for sealing
1 teaspoon of oil
16 spring roll wrappers, square or round


Blitz all ingredients except egg in a blender. Pulse it. It should not be a puree. Oil a baking tray or parchment. In the middle of the wrapper put a teaspoon of filling. Lightly brush the sides of the wrapper with the eggwash. Fold the wrapper over to form a triangle, or if you are using round wrappers, fold to form a half-moon. Press the edges with fingers and seal it into a spring roll shape. Arrange them on the tray/parchment. Brush with eggwash. Bake it for 15 minutes at 180 degree centigrade. They can also be deep-fried.

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