So my brother has recently decided to pursue the vegan diet as have many people recently for various reasons. While I could never give up meat myself, I don’t like to eat it all the time and vegetarian and vegan dishes can be just as satisfying if not more so. So to give my brother some inspiration and to showcase how tasty vegan food is, I’m posting a vegan series of recipes that do not require strange substitutes or try to be a vegan version of meat but that are simple and delicious in their own right.
The first of these is Dal Khichdi. It is an Indian style lentil and rice casserole recipe, an ultimate comfort food and super simple.
- ½ Cup Rice
- ¼ Cup yellow dal
- ¼ Cup red dal
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 medium size tomato, chopped
- 1 medium size potato cut into small cubes
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 inch root ginger, grated
- 1 green chili, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp each coriander seeds, methi seeds, fennel seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili power
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp ghee (oil if vegan)
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 medium size tomato, finely chopped
- 2 – 3 sprig of coriander leaves roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp ghee (oil if vegan)
- In a dry frying pan, gently toast the coriander, methi and fennel seeds over a medium heat until they just begin to crackle and smell nutty and aromatic. Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron pot, heat ghee over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and as the seeds turn light brown, add the garlic and ginger and sauté until light brown in colour.
- Next add the chopped onion and green chili. Stir and sauté for few minutes over medium heat or until onion become soft and golden.
- Add the chopped potato along with the freshly ground spices, cinnamon sticksalt, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Stir to combine.
- Ass the lentils and rice, stir to combine and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add approximately 500ml of stock along with tomato. Stir to combine and seal the lid. Let Dal Khichdi cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring every so often. You may need more stock so keep checking. Turn off the heat.
- While the Dal Khichdi is cooking. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the sliced onion until golden. Drain and keep aside.
- Serve Dal Khichdi warm topped with the caramelized onion, chopped tomato and fresh coriander leaves along with raita (if not vegan), salad and poppadoms.