Kedgeree, or khichri as it is known in India, is a humble dish perfectly suited to cold, rainy days. When it is combined with a sharp, crunchy caramelised, spicy cauliflower, there is a fascinating interaction of textures and flavours.
2 tbsp. vegetable or corn oil
½ cauliflower head, cut into 1cm (½-inch) florets
2 tbsp. corn oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. black onion seeds
½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
3 green chillies, slit and finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. sugar
Two tbsp.. of white vinegar or cider vinegar
50g fresh coriander, chopped
150g petit pois or green peas
Juice of 1 lemon
For the kedgeree:
100g split yellow moong lentils
A pinch of ground turmeric
3 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter
½ tsp. cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1cm (½-inch) piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1½ tsp. salt
75g basmati rice, boiled
2 tbsp. sprouted green moong lentils
1 tomato, deseeded and cut into 1cm (½-inch) dice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
To make the kedgeree, wash the yellow moong lentils, put them in a pan with the water and turmeric and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender and all the water has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee or butter in a pan; add the cumin seeds and garlic. Cook gently until golden. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to colour, then stir in the ginger and green chillies and cook for a minute. Stir in the yellow moong lentils and salt, and then fold in the cooked rice. Add the sprouted green moong lentils, tomato and fresh coriander and stir over a low heat for 3–4 minutes. Finish with the remaining tablespoon of ghee or butter and the lemon juice. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
To cook the cauliflower, heat oil in a frying pan, add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Then add the onion seeds, fennel seeds, ginger and chilli and then the cauliflower. Stir on high heat for a minute or two; add salt, turmeric, sugar and vinegar. Stir to mix, then cover with a lid, reduce heat and allow the cauliflower to cook in its own steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid, add the green coriander, peas and heat through. Divide the kedgeree between 4 plates and serve with the cauliflower and peas stir fry on top.