I've heard from a couple of my North Indian friends that Khichdi is prepared for people who become sick or ill. They told me that is made with rice and lentils and there aren't any spices so it is very bland and plain. The way it is cooked, it is easily digestible and I guess that is why it is preferred for sick people. When you are not feeling well, you want comfort food and food that won't make you run to the bathroom.
You know what, it is also the first solid food fed to babies. From all these information, I can understand why my friends aren't fans of this dish. Here's where I come in. I'd like to consider myself as someone who likes changing people's minds about things and steer them into the world of interesting cuisine. It's a talent I brag about a lot because you know what, You Only Live Once and There's so much food out there!
Anyways, I am here to prove my friends wrong about Khichdi. It's not just for sick people but anyone who loves to try new versions of an old recipe. My mom has this talent that reminds us all of why we love to eat. At least she does it for me and I'm not saying it because she's my mom. It's true. The updated or improved recipes of traditional recipes play with my palate in a good way. I can taste, sweet, sour, and spice in every bite. That's what food should taste like. Who wants to eat bland and plain food?
This Khichdi (rice and lentil dish) one such recipe. Give it a try and if I didn't change your mind about it...then let me know.
Let's start with the ingredients:
- 8 oz of Basmati Rice
- 6 oz of Split Moong dal (yellow lentils)
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped finely length wise
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 4 Green cardamom pods, seeded and powdered
- 3" piece Cinnamon bark
- 5 to 6 Cloves
- 2 to 3 Bay leaves (pulao leaf)
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tbsp Vegetalbe oil
- ½ tbsp Salt
- 2 Green chilies, split length wise
- 2 tsp Butter, (optional)
- 1 tsp Whole Cumin seeds
1) Powder coarsely cloves, cardamom and cinnamon together and set aside the garam masala powder (spice powder).
2) Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan (2-4 Qrtz size), and add jeera, when they start to crackle, add the garam masala powder and fry it for 1 minute. Now add chopped onions and sauté them until golden brown in color and then add ginger garlic paste, green chilies and turmeric & mix well.
3) Add rice and dal into the sautéed mixture and fry for at least 5min or until the aroma from the rice comes out. Add boiling water (6.5 cups) into it and add salt & bay leaves and cook it on low medium heat (for approximately 15-20min) with closed lid. Mix the contents every few minutes until both rice and dal are soft and cooked not mushy.
4) Leave the lid open after the rice and dal are cooked to allow any extra water for quick evaporation. When done remove from heat and add butter on the top.