Wash the rice and lentils in several changes of water, then leave to soak for 10–15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large pan, with 2 litres of water. Add the turmeric, bring to the boil, then remove any scum from the surface and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook for 25 minutes, until the lentils are completely cooked and collapsed, adding more boiling water from time to time, if the pan looks dry. (The rice will be thoroughly cooked by the time the lentils are done.)
Meanwhile, in a large wok, heat the oil, add the cumin seeds and dried chilli and fry for 1 minute, until the chilli changes colour and the cumin seeds darken and crisp up. Add the chopped garlic, let it colour until golden, then add the onion. Cook for 10–12 minutes, until the onion is lightly golden, then add the cauliflower, carrots and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook for 6–8 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 6–8 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Add the cooked rice and lentils to the vegetable pan and mix well. Add more boiling water if it seems too thick, then add the peas and simmer for a couple of minutes, until the rice and lentils are heated through. Remove from the heat and divide the kichri among 4 serving bowls. In a frying pan, heat the ghee to smoking point and pour it over the kichri to scald the top (you can skip this bit if you like). Serve immediately with the relish.
This recipe is taken from the cookbook, Chefs at Home. It is a compilation of simple dishes from the nation’s most renowned chefs, which they prepared at home during lockdown when there were limited ingredients available. 100% of all royalties go to Hospitality Action.