The Jewel In The Crown: Khichuri: Sitting Tailor Pose
The Jewel In The Crown
The Jewel in the Crown, a novel written by Paul Scott after his retirement from India in the 1960’s, was beautifully filmed in a 13 part adaptation by the BBC in the 1980’s. It is the story of old myths, undying love, betrayal, hope and utter despair played out against the backdrop of Mother India on the verge of independence and partition. One golden thread runs through the whole epic film and that is the incredible panorama of Indian sunsets, fishermen on the breathtaking lakes, old palaces fallen to ruin that capture the eye in shimmering or setting sunlight with unforgettable, yet now lost splendor. Watching this fabulous epic will take days and will create an epic appetite to go along with it. And, what could be more suitable than a recipe that is dated as being possibly the first recorded recipe of India; Khichuri. Make a huge pot of this, while following the ill-fate of two forbidden lovers, Harry Coomer and Daphne Manners, and it will last until the Jewel in the Crown is complete filling both your soul and your heart.
Khichuri: A One Pot Meal of Ancient India
by Bela Banerjee
1 cup long grain or Basmati rice
1 cup lentils or yellow split peas
1 Tablespoon oil or butter
2 dried red hot peppers, leave whole to remove easily before serving
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Bay leaves, whole. Remove before serving
1 8 oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables or peas.
4 cups of cold water
1/2 cup of Ghee (clarified butter-or substitute melted butter)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
1. Wash rice and lentils, drain thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a 4 quart pot, fry hot peppers, then add onions, garlic, tomato. Fry until onions are light brown.
3. Add rice and lentils.
4. Continue frying for a few minutes then add salt, pepper and turmeric, bay leaf, cumin. Mix spices in well.
5. Bring to boil on high heat, cover and reduce to medium heat, cooking for about 1/2 an hour.
6. Stir 2-3 times.
7. Add in the frozen vegetables.
8. Cook another 8-10 minutes on medium heat until the vegetables are heated through.
Serve by pouring Ghee in a swirl on top.
* optional toppings can be crispy papadams broken up and sprinkled on top, scrambled eggs, fried eggplant, or boiled, sliced potatoes with fresh, minced coriander leaves.
Sukhasana-The Sitting Tailor Pose
While you are watching Jewel in the Crown and waiting for your Khichuri to finish cooking, clear a spot on the sofa to practice our pose of the month, Sukhasana. This pose is simply, the cross legged pose that most shop owners in the bazaars sit in while creating their wares. Carefully seat yourself into a loose cross legged pose, straighten your spine, relax your neck. Now, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, join the index fingers to the thumbs and take several deep breaths. Do you smell the aroma from the kitchen yet? Great! Carefully unfold yourself, grab a plateful and click the remote onto Play. *Never hold any bent knee position past the point of comfort.
Click HERE to read the previous episode of Yoga, Dinner and A Movie.
Excerpts from Yoga, Dinner and a Movie will appear weekly. For those who prefer not to wait for the whole book, please visit Amazon.com where you can purchase it in its entirety.
Author, Speaker and Visionary, Acharya Sri Khadi Madama is the recipient of the Jewel of India Award, in New Delhi in 2009. You may visit her website at www.yourstrulyyogatv.com