This khichari recipe took me several years to develop.  I recently prepared this dish for a SATV cooking programme but was very nervous in front of the camera (so it might not be screened!).  Influences: Yamuna Mataji, Kurma prabhu and Gaura Sakti das (from South Africa).  To quote Prabhupada: ‘A pauper’s meal fit for a king.’  Nice if served with puris, bread-sticks, papadams, lemon, yoghurt and/or tomato chatni.  Please forgive sketchy presentation.  Your servant, MCD.

Serves 5 to 6 people.  Total preparation time 45 minutes.

8 cups/2 litres water.  Add 1 cup split yellow mung dal (washed),  1 tablespoon turmeric,  1 bay leaf,  1 cinnamon stick,  3 whole pepper corns. Bring water to boil.  Boil until the dal begins to split (about 25 mins).

Add cup of basmati rice (washed), 2 medium-sized potatoes cubed.  And 150g green beans.  Cook for about 10 mins at high heat.

Add several large zuccini bits, a couple of cauliflower heads and several large slices of green/yellow/red pepper (green or red are nice for colourful effect).  Cook at high heat for about 10 mins or until vegetables (including potatoes) are soft (the rice should also be soft).  The khichari should have a reasonably thick consistency.  (Note: It is better to remove excess ‘juice’ from the khichari than to add water.  We do not want to water down the natural flavour of the mixture.  It is ideal if you get your water quantity just right.  I like the khichari to be a little runny – consistency of a wet porridge).

Turn off flame.

Add one-and-half tablespoons salt and one-and-half tablespoons sugar (voluntary).

Chaunce: Heat ghee (oil if vegan) in separate frying pan.  When it is hot add one-and-a-quarter teaspoons mustard seeds.  When the mustard seeds pop, add same quantity cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds go brown, add grated ginger and chilli (de-seeded).  Add 3/4 curry leaves.  And a pinch of cinnamon powder, a pinch of nutmeg powder and a teaspoon of hing/asafoetida powder.  Mix chaunce/masala into khichari.

Garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped dhanya (coriander).

Add 2 tomatoes (cut into 4 or 8 bits).

Offer to Krishna with love and devotion.