This recipe for today is very simple. Yet a very popular and healthy one. Khichdi. Means a rice and lentil mixed preparation, with risotto like consistency. There are hundreds of recipes to make this humble dish, and this one today is one of the simplest among those. Usually it is considered that sick or elderly people consume Khichdi since it soothes their palate. This is true, since rice and lentils when blend together in a mash like curry with minimal spices, is very easy to digest and hence doesn’t stress the stomach.
In South India, there is a similar dish called Pongal which is prepared almost the same way. The difference lies in the spices and also that Pongal is a bit drier than Khichdi in general. Pongal is also made sweet, and is again an extremely popular recipe in the South.
No onion or garlic is used in this recipe, hence its very light on stomach and gets digested easily. Making it apt for all ages and medical conditions. This is a Satvic food. A sattvic diet, also referred to as a yoga diet or sentient diet, is a diet based on foods that—according to Ayurveda and Yoga, are strong in the sattva guna, and lead to clarity and upeksa (equanimity) of mind while also being beneficial to the body.
I have posted a recipe for Khichdi with Moong dal a while ago, and some other varieties are also in drafts which I hope to post very soon. Lets start with this very basic version made with Toor Dal (arhar dal), which is also my favorite. Whenver I am tired or have a bad stomach, I prepare this for dinner. I pair it with some vegetable Raita like Mint (pudina) Raita, Spinach (palak) raita etc. And top it with oodles of Ghee. That works best for me when I need a bowl of comfort food. Pure bliss !
Usually the smaller variety of rice is used for Khichdi, not the Basmati one. Since Basmati is hard to break down, and also doesnt mash up with the lentils properly. And since the whole point of preparing Khichdi is to keep it light, so the smaller and hence lighter variety is used. Lets move onto the recipe now.
What you need?
- 3/4 cup rice ( I used Sona masoori rice)
- 1/2 cup Arhar daal (Pigeon peas lentil)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp cooking oil or ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 green chilies
- 1 medium sized tomato, chopped small
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- Coriander leaves
- Raita or plain yogurt
- Papad (poppadom)
How to make?
- Rinse rice and lentils thoroughly and soak for half an hour. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker (check notes on how to make khichdi in pan). throw in cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Add in tomato and all the spices. Cover with the lid and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes till the tomatoes get all mashed up. Open and stir to mix well.
- Add in rice and lentils and 3 cups of water. Mix and cook till 2 whistles up. Turn off the flame, and open the pressure cooker when the pressure eases off
- Serve hot with your choice of accomplishment- Raita, plain yogurt, pickle or Ghee.
- If cooking in sauce pan:- Cook for almost 45 minutes and use 4 cups of water. Keep stirring frequently to avoid burning.
- This is a vegan recipe if you skip the ghee part.
- Adjust the water as per your desired consistency. You may add some black pepper to the dish, specially in winters to add some warmth.
Also check out the recipe for Moong daal Khichdi below: