Waking up to eat suhoor (pre-dawn meal) in the month of Ramadan at an unusual time of the night and sharing it with family members is both exciting and enjoyable. Doctors warn against eating a heavy meal at that time. Thus, suhoor-time meal should be easily digestible, yet filling. Another important factor to keep in mind is that it should not require lengthy preparation. Generally, it is recommended to prepare the dish prior to sleeping and and re-heat it before serving. Khichri is one such dish.
Khichri is usually a vegetarian dish but this recipe has been customized to add meat, to make it wholesome and filling. Lentils, rice and vegetables add to the nutrition value of this dish. Moreover, it goes together quickly and can even be mostly assembled ahead of time. So now you can spend more time in personal ibaadah and less time in kitchen!
1¼ cups basmati rice
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
500 gms minced meat (your choice of chicken, beef or lamb)
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsps garlic paste
1 large onion, finely chopped
1¼ cups red split lentils (masoor dal), rinsed
2 tsp garam masala (curry powder)
1½ tsp salt, or to taste
pinch of ground asafetida
4 cups water
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- Rinse the basmati rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear, then let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside until ready to cook.
- Melt the ghee/vegetable oil in a flame-proof casserole or large pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic paste and ginger paste and sauté for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden (not browned).
- Stir in the rice, minced meat (your choice of chicken, beef or lamb) and lentils along with the garam masala, salt, and asafetida, and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the water and bring to a boil while stirring continuously.
- Reduce the heat to as low as possible and cover the pan tightly. Simmer without lifting the lid for 20 minutes, until the grains are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Re-cover the pan, turn off the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Use 2 forks to mix in the cilantro and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
Serve with chapatti (Indian bread) and raita (yogurt).
Re-heating this dish is easy! Re-heat on low-medium heat and add water if necessary to maintain the porridge like consistency.
Question: I'd love to know what you do differently if you make this dish often. And what have you been eating for your suhoor meals? Post your replies below!