July’s dish of the month features the recipe for shrimp kichri, a great brunch dish and as made by Vivek on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen – catch up on the show here!
I remember my Dad used to say a true Bengali can’t have a single meal without fish or something fishy! Kichri was something that was made every Saturday for lunch and even more of a fixture if it happened to be a rainy or even overcast day. Different versions would include a vegetarian version with peas, cauliflower, carrots etc., a plain version to be enjoyed with rich spicy mutton curry, and this dried shrimp version when there wasn’t enough fish to feed the entire family!
- 200g/7oz split yellow mung beans, washed
- 1 litre/1¾ pints fish stock or water
- pinch ground turmeric
- 75g/2¾oz ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2½cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
- 4 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp salt
- 100g/3½oz shrimps (or small prawns), peeled
- 2 tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
- 1 tsp dry shrimp paste
- 150g/5½oz basmati rice, cooked and cooled
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 1 lemon, juice only
Put the mung beans in a saucepan with the fish stock and turmeric. Bring to the boil and simmer until the beans are cooked and falling apart (about 20-30 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 60g/2¼oz ghee in a heavy-based pan and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onions and gently fry until golden-brown. Add the ginger, chillies and salt and fry for 1 minute.
Add the shrimps and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mung beans and bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes and shrimp paste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then fold in the rice. Mix carefully, mixing the rice just enough to heat through without breaking.
Finish with the remaining ghee, sprinkle with lemon juice and coriander. Remove from heat and serve immediately.