What does khichdi taste like

Khichdi or khichri is an Indian one pot lentil and rice dish that’s vegetarian, easy to digest and wholesome. Done right, it can be incredibly tasty and may become your favourite comfort food. This version can be made in a traditional pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.

The last few weeks have been difficult and here’s why. But I’ve been eager to get back to work, because it helps take my mind off things and gives me a chance to do something that I love doing.

When I was thinking about the first recipe I want to share when I get back to the blog after a long two month stint, I couldn’t think of anything else except khichdi. It’s the first thing I made when I got back to my own kitchen. It’s what we’ve eaten the last two days for three meals straight. And it’s what comforts my soul best.

It also reminds me of how I would demand that my grandma make me khichdi every time we were having lunch at her place. Those were simpler days.

I also remember not liking khichdi sometimes. That’s because pretty much every house in India has their own version of khichdi or khichri. It’s one of those recipes that get passed down, and you learn to make it your own as you go. The way my grandma makes it is definitely a favourite. This version has whole spices, chunks of potatoes and other vegetables that become so soft they almost melt into the dish, and a secret tip where she roasts the lentils (dal) and rice before she adds the water. This recipe actually tastes good. It’s not sick food. It’s not weird and gloopy. It’s healthy, nutritious and comforting. And its a dish that you share with family. Its a meal that everyone will enjoy.

I use a combination of rice and two variety of lentils (dals) – moong dal and arhar/ toor dal. I love this combination the best because both the dals cook down to mix well with the rice. This version is more like a porridge, instead of grains which are separate. And thats the beauty of khichdi – because everything breaks down so well, its really easy to digest, but can keep you feeling full longer. I love adding diced carrots, beans, potatoes, cauliflower and green peas to make this a vegetarian khichdi and topping it with extra ghee. Unless you are vegan, don’t skip the ghee. It’ll melt all over and glisten and make every bite extra delicious. It also goes really well with cucumber raita.

If you live outside India, both these lentils are easily available at Indian stores and sometimes even at large supermarkets.

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The Khichdi Recipe that’s actually tasty!


Description

Khichdi or khichri is an Indian one pot lentil and rice dish that’s vegetarian, easy to digest and wholesome. Done right, it can be incredibly tasty and may become your favourite comfort food. This version can be made in a traditional pressure cooker or an Instant Pot and I have instructions below for both.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup small grain Rice
  • 1/4 cup Arhar Dal (Toor dal/ Split Pigeon Peas)
  • 1/4 cup dhuli Moong Dal (skinless Petite Yellow Lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 6–8 whole Peppercorns
  • 2 Bayleaves
  • 4–5 Cloves
  • 2 whole Cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon grated Ginger
  • 1 Green Chilli or Serrano Chilli, split lengthwise
  • 6–8 Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 Potato, quartered
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 8–10 French Beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh Green Peas
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder or Paprika Powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons Salt
  • 5 cups Water

Instructions

Traditional Pressure Cooker:

  1. Wash the rice and both the dals (lentils) well, and soak them in enough water to cover them for at least 30 minutes or up to two hours. This helps them cook faster.
  2. Heat ghee in the pressure cooker and add cumin seeds, peppercorns, bayleaves, cloves, cardamoms, ginger and green chilli. Saute for two minutes on medium flame.
  3. Drain all the water from the rice and lentils and add them to the cooker. Dry roast them for 4-5 minutes, till you can smell a nutty aroma. Don’t worry if some of the rice and lentils stick to the bottom of the pan, but be careful not to burn them.
  4. Add all the veggies, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and water to the cooker and pressure cook for 6-7 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Once all the pressure has released, open the pressure cooker and mix well. After mixing, the rice and dal should have broken down and should look slightly creamy. Check for salt, and serve hot with ghee, fried potatoes, tomato chutney or just yogurt.

Instant Pot Version:

  1. Wash the rice and both the dals (lentils) well, and soak them in enough water to cover them for at least 30 minutes or up to two hours. This helps them cook faster.
  2. Turn on the saute function and heat ghee in the pot. Add cumin seeds, peppercorns, bayleaves, cloves, cardamoms, ginger and green chilli. Saute for two minutes or till you can smell the spices.
  3. Drain all the water from the rice and lentils and add them to the cooker. Dry roast them for 5-6 minutes, till you can smell a nutty aroma. Don’t worry if some of the rice and lentils stick to the bottom of the pan, but be careful not to burn them.
  4. Add all the veggies, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and water to the cooker and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. I prefer using the manual pressure function. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, and then release pressure manually. Once all the pressure has released, open the pressure cooker and mix well. After mixing, the rice and dal should have broken down and should look slightly creamy. Check for salt, and serve hot with ghee, fried potatoes, tomato chutney or just yogurt.

Notes

  • Here’s a pretty cool article about dals (lentils) along with their images to help you identify them easily
  • The consistency of a khichdi is a personal preference. We like ours on the mushier side, but if you prefer it less mushy, reduce the water by a cup. You can also add more water if you like and cook it further if you want your version mushier.
  • To reheat, just add a little water and heat it
1 bowl2554.9 g656.9 mg6.7 g41.2 g10 g15.3 mg

Categories: Fast and Easy Dinners