Today’s recipe is a kitchari from Maharashtra that incorporates sprouts made from masoor lentils, and which uses Goda Masala. Goda Masala is a spice mix unique to Maharashtra. I should say, one of the several spice mixes unique to that state of India. It is a spice mix that is complex and layered in flavours. There are a whole range of dishes that use it (e.g. Masoor Sprouts Usal), and we intend to make a few over the next weeks.
Goda Masala can be difficult to get outside of Maharashtra – try in North Indian groceries, because those specialising in South Indian ingredients won’t have heard of it. You can try to make your own masala – I generally prefer to do this, but several of the spices used in Goda Masala are hard to find outside of Maharashtra, even in India.
This kitchari is pilaf style rather than the South Indian style which is more porridge-like. It uses the long grained basmati rice rather than the shorter grained rice of South India.
Check out other Goda Masala recipes here. There are many other Kitchari recipes here. You will find more sprouts recipes here. Or explore all of our Maharashtrian recipes and our Indian recipes. Feel free to browse our Late Spring recipes here.
Sometimes you will hear people say that the two spice mixes, Goda Masala and Kala Masala, are the same spice mix. However, this is not completely accurate. Although the spices used are the same, there are two major differences:
First, Kala Masala includes onions that have been crispy fried and then dried before being ground with the spices.
Secondly, before being ground into a powder the spices for Kala Masala are roasted until very dark brown – far further than spices for Goda Masala are roasted. It creates a taste that is much “darker” than Goda Masala.
So you can see that the two spice mixes are sisters, but not the same.
There are several ingredients in Goda Masala that can be challenging to find. Stone flower or dagad phool, a lichen with an earthy woody aroma. This gives Goda Masala its uniqueness. Nagkesar – cassia buds – also used in Ayurvedic medicines – is another one. Small black oily seeds known as niger seeds are also added.
If you need a substitute for Goda Masala, use Garam Masala. It’s not the same, but it will work well in your recipe.
For this recipe you will need Masoor Sprouts. Follow these instructions, using whole masoor lentils to make the sprouts.
Masoor Sprouts Rice | Maharashtrian Kitchari
1 cup of masoor sprouts
1 cup basmati rice, washed and drained well
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn Goda Masala
0.5 tspn Indian chilli powder
salt to taste
1 tspn ghee
2 tspns peanut oil
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds
freshly grated coconut (I use frozen grated coconut) (optional)
coriander leaves, chopped
Make the tempering first. Heat the oil and ghee in a pan. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop completely. Add the cumin seeds.
Now add the crushed garlic. Saute it for just a moment before adding the onion. Saute the onion until it is translucent.
Lower the heat. Add the turmeric, goda masala and chilli powder. Mix well but don’t burn the spices.
Add the masoor sprouts and mix well. Add the drained rice and mix well.
Add about 3 cups water and a little salt – the amount of water will depend on your rice and how tightly your saucepan can be covered. You might need a little more or less.
Bring to the boil, cover and cook until the rice is cooked. Garnish with coconut, coriander leaves and lemon juice. Add a little more ghee and mix in if you wish, for a luxurious finish.
It is wonderful! Enjoy!