Khichdi is such a comfort food for Indians. There are many regional variations, but at the base of all khichdis is a combination of rice and lentils making it a fantastic one-pot meal.
If you are working long hours and want a simple , no-brainer meal that is quick and healthy, you have come to the right place.
My objective with this post
Clarify the basics of this recipe
Meal planning – Separate prep and cook portion into easy compartments
So, I am going with a very simple recipe source originally inspired from vegrecipesofIndia. It is basic, it is simple, it is delicious…and perfect for a weeknight dinner or breakfast.
I know a lot of the older cooks know khichadi recipes by heart. Others, are always googling – should I add garlic? How about whole masala? Ground coriander? etc…Now – there is no right or wrong answers. You have more time, throw in more fancy spices and techniques.
However, if you are on a weeknight, just wanting to get done with cooking, without needing to fire up your iphone for the recipe, just remember these 3 things as the basic building blocks.
Ginger + Green chilies – This is the main guy here, heart of Gujarathi cooking -adds much needed spice
Rice + moong dal – 1:1 ratio
Onions & tomatoes – adds a layer of sweetness & tartness, without which it is too bland.
Obviously, you can add layers of flavor by doing so much more – just google ‘khichdi recipes’ and you will get a million results…but at the very basic level, if you get the above 3 things right, you have a comforting, home cooked meal.
If you are able to get everything ready all the way until the final cooking of the grains and lentils – that’s prep work. Here are the pictures of the steps:
Pictures of the steps:
Peel and chop ginger, green chillies for the recipe OR create pastes in bulk. My neighbour, who is Gujarathi, told me that she makes ginger-chilli paste in bulk for a week and refrigerates them.
Prep your veggies by chopping your onion and tomatoes. You can also upgrade the health of this recipe by adding fiber rich veggies like zucchini, bottle gourd, capsicum etc. Please try to avoid potato as it increases the glycemic index of this dish.
Saute your veggies and spices to achieve Malliard reaction (browning). This adds depth of flavor and complexity to the dish rather than just dumping all ingredients at the same time.
Add in the rice and lentils and the required water. Shut off the heat.
Take this mixture and keep in the fridge either directly with the cooker or in another vessel.
8-12 hours later – This is the easy part. No peeling, no chopping, no sauteing – Just cook!!
Using rice cooker
If you have a programmable rice cooker at home, add the refrigerated mixture and set time for cooking. If you want kichdi ready at 6pm for dinner or 7:30 am for breakfast, set it and leave it.
Using pressure cooker
Khichdi for dinner – Place the cooker on the stove as soon as you get home. It will be done by the time you wash up and gather your family around for dinner.
Khichdi for breakfast – Place in on the stove as soon as you wake up. It will be done by the time you pack up lunch boxes and putter around the kitchen unloading dishes, drinking your morning coffee or tea.
How awesome is that?!!
- I add a spoon of melted butter for my kids, for the additional oomph.
- My husband and I eat it with pickle and kadhi. Kadhi is the world’s easiest stew (my humble opinion, totally debatable, of course). I have to yet post a recipe of it, but here’s a very good one that I use.
- Ideally a chopped salad would be a wonderful healthy addition. But hey, on a busy workday, if you have managed kichadi and kadhi, I think you can, rightfully, call the meal a success. But, just in case, you have time, a simple cucumber + tomato salad would add fiber and fullness to the meal.
That’ s it for now. Let me know your thoughts…
Two famous Indian brands for pressure cooker are Prestige and Hawkins. Check out their new models here: