Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cranberry Kichadi / Spicy Rice and lentil with cranberries

If I were in India, I would never have used cranberries in cooking. But here I am living in a country where November is all about pumpkin, squash and cranberries. Do you blame me for using them in Indian cuisine? Seriously, if you ask people what are cranberries used for? there are only few names that you will hear. Dried sweetened cranberries, Cranberry sauce and cranberry Juice. For some reason, I feel these berries are not used to their full potential.
I use ingredients based on how I relate to them. Cranberries are tangy and they come in the line of limes, tamarind and anything that is sour. I made kichadi which is nothing but thick rice and lentil porridge with spices. Usually limes are used in giving them the tang required. I used cranberries for that purpose. They do the job and add color to the dish. They are rich in antioxidants so that is a plus. Don't you agree?
One year back - Whole Wheat Banana Pumpkin Bread, Cranberry Rice
Two years back - Akki Rotti/Rice flatbread, Glazed Sugar Cookie
Rice - 2 cups
Masoor dal /lentils - 1/2 cup
Water - 6 cups plus 1 cup more to adjust the consistency
Onions - 2 medium sliced thin
Garlic - 3 pods crushed or grated
Ginger - 1" piece grated
Cumin - 2 tsp divided use
Cashews - 1/4 cup (optional)
Black pepper - 1 TBSP coarsely powdered
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste (optional)
Methi seeds/Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Fenugreek leaves - 1 bunch cleaned and chopped (Or you could use spinach or chard)
Oil - 3 TBSP
Turmeric - 1 tsp divided use
Cranberries - 1 - 1 1/2 cups rinsed and drained
Salt - to taste
Wash and rinse the rice and lentil mixture. Drain. Add 6 cups of water. Add a pinch of turmeric, 1 tsp of cumin and pressure cook for two whistles. It will be a bit mushy.
Heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, add remaining 1 tsp of cumin, black pepper powder, garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds and cashews. Let them all toast. Add chopped onions, remaining turmeric. Sprinkle some salt and let them wilt. When they are cooked, add cranberries, fenugreek leaves or any other greens of choice. Mix well and add red chilli powder. Let the leaves wilt and cranberries pop. Keep stirring occasionally. When all the berries have popped, add cooked rice and lentil mixture. Add about a cup of water to adjust the consistency if required and mix well. Adjust the salt and keep it covered on low flame for 3 minutes or so. Turn off and serve warm. It tastes great with a bit of ghee on top, but I never serve it like that. Or serve with some yogurt or plain as is. This makes an easy one pot meal which is loaded with flavors.

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  1. what a neat idea Champa. love cranberry color

  2. Very innovative........Thanks for sharing.

  3. Awesome looking khichdi. Looks awesome.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. that is such a fun idea! i am sure i will love the cranberry tang in my khichdi.. now where are my cranberries.

  5. Omg, wat a unique and beautiful looking kichadi..

  6. wow champa, cranberries like this love this, my daughter wants to eat them they are so tart this is such a good idea, thanks for sharing, and I just saw different versions of cranberry rice in the you might also like.., definitely going to try this...

  7. I CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER MOMENT...I'm going out to get more cranberries to try this recipe. I believe that the major sign of a Great Cook..... (especially when you refer to the lime-cranberry "tart" connection)is simply Knowing your basic flavor combinations! I am with you on this! One example that comes to mind....There is a reason for example that acids and soy is classic...The Japanese Yuzu comes to mind, the Shanghai Chinese Dark vinegar and soy, the Pacific Islanders use Finadene with acid and soy...just an example that comes to mind. All this to say...I can tell by your logic that I will LOVE this recipe!! (Will post again when I make it)


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