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Around the Table with Raina Kumra of Spicewell

A Recipe to Celebrate the Changing of the Seasons

CEO and Founder of Spicewell, Raina Kumra, wants to help people have a healthier pantry. Spicewell is the world’s first Ayurvedic, nutrient dense salt and pepper backed by functional medicine doctors. We visited Raina at her beautiful Santa Monica home recently where she invited us into her kitchen to learn more about Spicewell and some of her favorite recipes, including to celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of color. In the video below, Raina shares her recipe for Khichdi, featuring the bright yellow of Turmeric, one of our favorite spices and colors at Graf Lantz.

Raina Kumra of Spicewell’s Recipe for Khichdi

Khichdi

“Khichdii is such a strong winter comfort food, but it also works well in any change of season. Ayurvedically, it is one of the healthiest things to eat - with the rice and lentils becoming a complete protein.” 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2-3 whole black peppers
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Spicewell New Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spicewell New Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • Fresh cilantro for garnishing

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the rice and dal in cold water until the water runs clear. Soak them in water for about 30 minutes. (***If using yellow split pea lentils or any other kind of lentil - soak overnight or use pressure cooker method or your lentils will be al dente and not soft)
  2. In a large pot, heat the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add whole black pepper and cloves, let splutter.
  4. Saute for a minute until fragrant.
  5. Drain the soaked rice and dal and add them to the pot. Stir well.
  6. Add the turmeric powder, New Salt and New Pepper. Mix well.
  7. Pour in the water and stir everything together. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice and dal are cooked and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of porridge.
  9. Give it a good stir and add more Turmeric for color (in honor of Holi!) and New Salt to taste
  10. Your stove top khichdi is ready to be served and shared with friends!

This can also easily be cooked in a pressure cooker or Instapot - follow the same instructions above until step 7, and then pressure cook for 9 minutes on high. To reheat khichdi simply add 2 tablespoons of water to the leftovers to bring them back to freshness when reheating.

Celebrating Holi, Celebrating Color

Raina and her family like to celebrate in the traditional way - wearing pristine white clothes, heading to the park with lots of friends, and dousing each other with color. After a good amount of fun and showers to clean off the color, they all sit down to a nice meal together. Given Holi is the festival of colors, we asked Raina how she celebrates color in her own home. “Since our home is dominated by wood tones, we love featuring green, which just looks so right next to all the natural materials. I love the Monstera trivet, it is gorgeous on any wood table.”

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