Sylheti Kissoori / Khichuri (Rice & Lentil Porridge)

“Kissoori” as people from my part of Bangladesh (Sylhet) call it, is a comfort food that I love, particularly when feeling poorly, and which proved to be an excellent first solid food for my children. Here’s how I make it:

You will need: 200 ml long grain or basmati rice, 200 ml of split red lentils, 2 -3 inches of fresh ginger (I like it more gingery), peeled and grated, 2 bay leaves, 1 medium / large onion finely diced, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, salt to taste (I use about a teaspoon and a quarter), 1200 ml of water. OPTIONAL: lump of butter

Step 1: Mix the lentils and rice in the pot you’re going to cook them in, then rinse under cold water until water runs clear(ish)

Step 2: Drain all water from pot, then add 1200 ml of clean water. Chuck in ginger, bay leaves, onion, turmeric, and salt and give a good stir.

Step 3: Bring this to a boil until a scum forms on top:

Step 4: Use a spoon to skim this scum off (chuck the scum away).

Step 5: Turn down heat and simmer with lid on for a about 5 – 10 minutes until rice and lentils are cooked

Step 6: Bring back up vigorous boil to get rid of excess water. Chuck in some butter if you want to make it a bit more luxurious:

Step 7: Leave it to sit on the stove for a while with the heat off – the rice and lentils will continue to absorb water. If in a rush, boil off a bit more of the water until you have something which has the consistency of porridge (you can decide for yourself how you like it). Serve on its own or, as I like it, with a good drizzle of Encona Hot Pepper Sauce (and more butter!). This freezes pretty well – add a dash more water and butter when you reheat to make it as good as when fresh.

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