Khichdi is an ancient delicious traditional dish used for thousands of years. Khichdi is also known as khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari and many other variants is a dish of Indian cuisine containing a combination of rice and lentils. It is generally considered an informal dish. Khichdi is the first solid food people give their babies in India. The rice and lentils are soaked until they lose their consistency and is seasoned with turmeric and salt. The khichdee is also the first food that is served to the sick and patients.
The Khichdi is usually served with another Indian dish called Kadhi. Other accompaniments are papads, Beguni or fried eggplants, ghee or clarified butter, achar and yogurt. Khichri is a comfort food for the people of India and those following a Saatvik diet of Ayurveda. It is considered as a nutrient rich, light and simple food and is prepared without any spices. It is widely recommended by doctors to patients, children and the elderly who are recovering from diseases.
During the Mughal Empire, classical khichdi went through several modifications. They were supplemented with nuts, spices, and dry fruits. During Akbar's rule, the royal kitchen prepared and distributed Khichri every day. Jahangir admired Khichri prepared with a large amount of ghee, fresh dry fruits, and nuts. There is a Khichdi recipe recorded in Ain-I-Akbari. Alamgiri Khichri was developed for Aurangzeb. The Khichdi recipe has been customized to conform to the Anglo-Indian delight, by adding fish and eggs to the ingredients during British colonial rule.
It was called Kedgeree and became famous during British times as a predominant breakfast. Soon it was proliferated outside India to the United Kingdom during the rule of Queen Victoria.
You can make your own Khichri with rice, and a combination of legumes like Moong and chana. You might even add vegetables and split wheat or Dalia. Ghee is an important ingredient according to the traditional recipe.
You can also add nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, chironji, chilgoza, and dry fruits like raisins and chopped apricots to improve their nutritional value, as well as to garnish. The consistency of the finished recipe varies from being dry like a Biryani to wet depending on tastes and preferences. Khichri is served with yogurt, kadhi, and pickles. Traditional Khichri is not spicy.
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 105 calories per 100 gms
4 cups basmati rice
1 cup red lentil
1 cup green lentil
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 black cardamom
2 sticks cinnamon stick
1 green chili
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
A pinch asafoetida, cayenne pepper
1 tsp whole mustard
1 french bean
1 cup peas
1 tsp turmeric powder
10 cauliflower florets
1 sprig spinach
1 cup soy granules
2 bay leaves
Cilantro and lemon
Wash rice and lentils together and drain the water out.
Heat some ghee clarified butter in a vessel and fry the bay leaves, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves for two minutes.
Mix all the vegetables, potatoes, soy granules, lentils, mustard, jalapeno, turmeric powder and the rice except for the sweet peas, with a dash of salt and lightly fry for 5 minutes in 2 tablespoons of oil.
Mix in 6 cups of boiling water and salt. Cover and stir fry on low heat up till done. Stir a few times. Once the water dries up after another 5 minutes, keep aside over very low heat to keep it warm.
Heat oil in a separate pan and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida and let it splutter. When the seeds crackle, add the onions, tomatoes, sweet peas and green chili and saute for another minute to let it turn golden brown. Once fried, add them to the rice and mix thoroughly but gently. Cover and cook for 15 minutes
Check frequently to make sure you have enough water and things are not really stuck to the bottom or is getting burnt up. When rice is done, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro.
Add lemon and serve with some fried fish, or eggs or even grilled veggies or pure ghee.