Saturday, June 8, 2013

From Iraq with Love - Kitchri Recipe

Traditional Iraqi Dish - Kitchri  @ The Crafeteria


Israel is a special country. Many of its citizens (especially people who are over 60-70) immigrated from other countries. People came here from Europe, Arab countries, Russia, Ethiopia and more. My grandmother from my father's side came from Romania, my grandfather from Turkey. My grandparents from my mother's side came from Iraq. With the people came their food, and Israeli cuisine today is a blended cuisine. It might be one of the only places in the world where you can find sushi and hummus on the same plate (with a large Greek salad on the side...).
One of the dishes that I love the most is a traditional Jewish-Iraqi dish, called kitchri, that I remember from childhood. It's a winning combination of rice (a must in every Iraqi meal) and lentils. At our house the kitchri was one of the favorites of all of us. It's not only super-delicious, but also an excellent dish for vegetarians and is considered to be a complete protein dish. Just add vegetables on the side, and you've got the full package, that even the kids love. And the best thing about it - it's really easy to make.

Want the recipe?
This is my grandma's recipe, after going through some tiny needed changes (like substituting the margarine in the original recipe with butter).

Traditional Iraqi Dish - Kitchri  @ The Crafeteria


Ingredients (serves 4-6):
1 big onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
100 g (3.5 oz) butter
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. salt
1.5 cups rice
3/4 cups red lentils
2 1/4 cups water

* You can use a pressure cooker or cooking pot *
Rinse the rice and lentils.
Saute onion and garlic in a little oil until tender.
Add butter, cumin, tomato paste and salt and stir for a minute.
Add water and bring to a boil.
Add rice and lentils.
If you use a pressure cooker, reduce heat to minimum and cook for 6 minutes (carefully follow the instructions of the manufacturer).
If you use a regular cooking pot, cover and reduce heat to minimum. Cook for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and wait for 5 minutes.

Traditional Iraqi Dish - Kitchri  @ The Crafeteria


Serve with -
2 tomatoes
1/2 onion
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Chop a salad of tomatoes and onion, add parsley. Season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

You can also
Slice 2 onions, coat with flour and fry in oil until golden.

Traditional Iraqi Dish - Kitchri  @ The Crafeteria


The real Iraqis I knew also added a fried egg on top...

Enjoy!










39 comments:

  1. This looks like a great recipe.
    Came from Plucky's Second thoughts. Following on Facebook and Twitter.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

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    1. Thanks! Followed you back.
      Have a great day!

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  2. ha! We have the same thing in north India...we can substitute the red lentils for other varieties and we also add more vegetables (potatoes, cauliflower etc) and we call it khichdi!

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    1. Really??? Now that's what I call a small world... I LOVE Indian food, and I know Indians use lentils a lot, but I had no idea you have Kitchri!...

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    2. It is the same. Our large Iraqi Baghdai Jewish community in India ate these kinds of foods then brought them back to Baghdad. We changed the lentil color and adjusted the taste and it became a standard thursday night dairy dinner as Kitchri is always served along side Lebani(yougurt) . We also use Umbah an Indian pickled mango condiment, with most of our food too.

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  3. This recipe looks really good, I have never tried cooking this style of food before. i will definitely have to give it a try :)

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    1. Great, let me know if you liked it :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. The dish looks very good, I am kind of a picky eater and not very adventurous when it comes to food but I can see myself eating this.

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    1. I think you should try it, it's very simple (and very good :))
      Thanks for visiting!

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  5. Like the sounds of this recipe and seems like it may be rather low in calories and good for you as well.

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    1. The only problem would be the butter. I guess you can reduce the amount of it. You can also try to use brown rice and just add a bit more water, to make it really healthy.
      Thanks for visiting :)

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  6. This looks delicious - definitely one for my 'to make' list

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  7. Visiting from the Suburbs Mama blog carnival. So happy to find your blog. Now following you on Twitter, Google +, and Bloglovin..Love middle eastern vegetarian recipes.Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Thanks! :)
      I'm also following you on Bloglovin', Twitter and Google+.

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  8. This looks a little like Spanish Rice!

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    1. Really?? I tried different dishes of rice in Barcelona, none of them was similar to this. Is there a name to the recipe? I'd love it if you could share (love love love Spanish food!)

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  9. What a yummy recipe! Thank you so much for linking up! Hope to see more from you.

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  10. Yum! I was looking for a good lentil recipe. Thanks so much!

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  11. I had to laugh at your description of Israeli food as being a place where you would find sushi and hummus on a plate together. I would have to say Canada is the same - we are a hugely multicultural country so end up with loads of different foods and types of restaurants around here.

    Your recipe looks really interesting. I will have to give it a try. I have been cooking my way around the world (we just finished although I haven't posted all the last countries yet). You can see what I made for Israel here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.ca/2013/01/israeli-food.html

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  12. Thanks! Love your blog and the idea of cooking around the world, I'm going to spend some time on your blog now...

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  13. This looks delicious and so easy to make! Thanks for a great and healthy recipe.
    I'm visiting from SITS today. Enjoy your day in blogger heaven:-)

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  14. This looks great! We love lentils so I am going to pin this to try it. I can always use a new lentil recipe!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! If you love lentils, I'm sure you'll love this recipe :)

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  15. Sounds delish. Thanks for a yummy recipe for vegetarians.

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks Talitha! Have a great week :)

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  17. What a lovely recipe! I dig lentils and grew up eating rice (I'm from a rice farming community), and I like this different twist. Knowing the recipe is your grandmother's makes it very special. Turning old recipes into something modern is a fun way to cook.

    Happy SITS Day and congrats on being featured. :-)

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    1. Thanks Laura! For me, as a vegetarian, nothing beats the combo of rice & lentils - yummy and healthy. I'm trying different ways to cook this dish with brown rice instead of white rice, to make it healthier, hopefully I'll find the perfect recipe soon...

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  18. MMM, I actually already have everything for this already. That NEVER happens! I'm going to make it tonight. Thanks!

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    1. Yay! I'd love to hear what your thoughts about it :)

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  19. That does look delish! I love the idea of putting an egg on top!!!

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    1. Thanks! I never tried it with the egg on top, but my brother loves it this way:)

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  20. This looks delicious. I enjoyed your introduction too -very interesting.

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