May 17, 2009

Khichdi in a pot (spiced rice and lentils)

I have yet to know of an Indian household where khichdi is not cooked. It is not only easy to cook but nutritious and yummy. Because it is easy to digest khichdi is one of the first solid foods given to kids as well as to people recovering from fever or surgery. It is a staple in my house when I am too tired to cook or want something simple and filling. My DH, Tushar, likes to eat it with an egg omelet. My son and I eat it with a dollop of ghee and some milk. Of course, a majority of Indian households eat it with pappad and pickle.
In Tushar’s home it is always made with washed yellow moong dhal and I have grown to like the way it tastes. However, I grew up with the green moong dhal khichdi. Both taste good but there is a middle ground. In the Kroger store you can get Kohinoor brand basmati rice and lentil blend. It takes the guess work out of measuring rice and lentils separately. It also contains both kinds of lentils so you don’t have to worry about which kind to chose.


½ cup rice
½ cup + 2 tbsp moong dhal
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp asafetida
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
2 cups of water

Wash the rice and lentils 2-3 times and soak with water to cover.
Heat a 3-ltr pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pan with a tight fitting lid.
Add ½ tbsp oil and when it heats up add the mustard seeds.
Once the mustard seeds crackle add asafetida and the soaked rice-lentile mix.
Stir to coat and add red chilli, garam masala, salt and sugar. Stir and over for two min while the mixture comes to a boil.
Add the 2 cups of water and put the lid on the cooker. Wait for two whistles before turning off the heat.
If you are using a heavy bottom pan, it will take about 20 min on medium flame for the khichdi to cook (make sure the lid is on). Just check in between to make sure the rice and lentils are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Khichdi is done when the lentils and rice are tender.

Note: You can add additional 1/2 water to the 2 cups of water to make the khichdi softer and runny.

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