Cooking with Yamuna Devi: Mung and Cauliflower Kitcheree Recipe

This spiced bean and rice dish is a traditional Indian recipe.

| October/November 1997

Mung and Cauliflower Kitcheree
SERVES 6 to 8

• 3/4 cup split, husked mung beans (mung kidal)
• 1-3/4 cups basmati rice
• 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
• 1-1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
• 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
• 3 cardamom pods, crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon yellow asafetida
• 4 tablespoons clarified butter, or 2 tablespoons each corn oil and butter
• 1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
• 7-1/2 cups hot water or vegetable stock
• 2 cups chopped tomatoes or baby peas
• 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
• Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

1. Remove any foreign matter from the beans and rice, transfer them to a large bowl, and rinse several times until the water is clear; drain in a strainer. 2. On medium high, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a pressure cooker or a nonstick or heavy-bottomed 5-quart saucepan. Add the cumin, ginger, pepper, and cardamom; when the cumin turns medium brown, add the turmeric and asafetida. Immediately, add the cauliflower, rice, and beans. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. 

If you are using a pressure cooker, pour in 5-1/2 cups of the water or stock and bring to a boil. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Off the heat, pour in the remaining 2 cups liquid, tomatoes or peas, and 1/4 cup of the cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper and mix gently. Place the pan over moderate heat for 1 or 2 minutes to warm the tomatoes or peas and allow the grains to absorb the liquid.

If you are using a saucepan, add all of the liquid at once. Bring to a boil. Cook over low heat, partly covered, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the rice is tender, the beans are soft, and the liquid has been absorbed.

At serving time, garnish with the remaining cilantro and drizzle with the remaining butter. 

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