If you are an Indian, then you would have heard about this dish known as Khichdi. It may be called with some different names in different places, but popularly it is known as Khichdi only. It is an Indian subcontinent dish, which is prepared using rice and lentils. This is considered to be one of the lightest foods and that is why it is given to the babies also. Even during indigestion also, people suggest eating Khichdi only. However, this light food is rich in nutrients and is good for our health. In the English language, people also call it salty porridge. It is being made in many Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. A few other names for khichdi in different languages are Khisiri in Assamese, Kisuri in Sylheti, Khichuri in Bengali, and Khechidi in Odia. Khichdi is an Urdu word, and it originates from the Sanskrit word ‘khicca’, which is called a dish made of legumes and rice.
People also relate the Khichdi with the Akbar and Birbal’s story of preparing Khichdi, which is one of the famous stories of old times. It is also being said that Khichdi was one of the popular dishes during the Mughals period. Khichdi is said to be the food for all, means food for the poor also and rich also. Be it an infant or be it an aged person, they all can eat khichdi without any problem. This mix of carbs and protein dish is said to be a balanced diet for the body. To make it delicious and more nutrients rich, one can add vegetables or different types of lentils to it.
Different variations of Khichdi
There are many variations of this popular dish in different states of India. Some people simply make it using rice and moong dal. Whereas, some people prepare it by adding vegetables in it, like peas, cauliflower, potato, beans, tomato, etc. People who follow a proper diet also eat khichdi which they call multigrain khichdi. They prepare it using brown rice, green gram, tur dal, flax seeds, some vegetables, and green sprouts. The best way to serve Khichdi is by adding Ghee and garnishing it with coriander leaves. Some people prefer to eat it with pickle, some prefer to have curd with it, whereas some people prefer it with kadhi and papad.
How to prepare Khichdi?
If you have never tried your hand in cooking Khichdi, then here, you go. You can easily cook it in around 30 or less than 30 minutes. Let’s know how to prepare a delicious khichdi.
Ingredients required (for 2 people): Ghee (1 or 2 tablespoons), Cumin seeds ½ teaspoon, Bay leaf – 1, grated ginger ½ teaspoon, Red Chilli Powder or Green Chilli – 1, Chopped small tomato – 1, Turmeric – a pinch or 1/8th of teaspoon, Rice – ½ cup, Moong Dal (Skinless petite yellow lentils) – ½ cup, Salt as required, Water – around 4 cups, Extra ghee for topping, chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
How to cook:
- Take a pressure cooker and start heating ghee in it on medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and bay leaf and turn the flame low (1 min)
- Add grated ginger and fry it. Also, add green chillies.
- Add tomatoes, turmeric, and salt (add as per the requirement) to it. Sauté them for around 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add rice and moong dal to it (wash them before only, and drain them properly). Saute them for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of water to it, and start stirring it.
- Put the pressure cooker lid and close it. Cook it until you get 2 – 3 whistles. Turn off the flame.
- Serve it hot. But before serving it, add ghee to it and garnish it with coriander. You can serve it with curd or pickle or papad.
In case, if you want to add vegetables to it, you can add them while adding tomatoes. If you are doubtful of the salt, taste the water after stirring it. Cook it on low flame for proper consistency.
Benefits of Eating Khichdi
Many people only prefer to eat Khichdi when they are ill. But once you will know the benefits of eating Khichdi, you will love to eat it.
Gluten-Free – If you are one of those who avoid eating a gluten diet and look for a gluten-free diet, then here it is. Khichdi is a gluten-free diet. Both rice and lentils do not have gluten, and that is why it makes a best and healthiest diet.
Can get digested easily – This healthy meal is not a heavy meal like other healthy meals. It does not contain too much oil. Neither there are many spices in it. With the good nutritional value, this simple dish is easy to digest. This is one of the reasons, why when people suffer from acidity, diarrhea, constipation, etc. khichdi is recommended.
Part of an Ayurvedic Diet – This is also called as a Trishodic food. It is said that Khichdi being a part of an ayurvedic diet helps in balancing the 3 doshas that are Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. It helps in providing a calming effect on our body.
Now, you know why this popular dish Khichdi has a special place in the heart of Indians. You can try the recipe of Khichdi we have given above and can enjoy this delicious food and its benefits.