A Comforting One Pot Meal – Wholegrain, Millet and veggie Khichdi
Do you have a family dish which you prefer at times when you feel lazy to cook but do not wish to compromise on comfort and health quotient? Its Khichdi for my family. A hotch potch medley of wholegrain, millet, lentils and vegetables, Khichdi is an easy & filling one pot meal and has all the necessary ingredients of a balanced diet which could be cooked quickly without much fuss. Carbohydrates from rice (or any grain), fiber from millet, protein form lentils and vitamins & minerals from veggies make this recipe a complete meal in itself.
Khichdi is the first solid food I was fed by mom and I followed the same meticulously with both my children barring a few days of formula food. This recipe is the one I often make when I am logger heads with time or just plain lazy and need an easy, quick fix meal.
‘Food is the most primitive form of comfort‘, holds true for this humble recipe. A great time savior and a very popular dish inIndia, each recipe of Khichdi takes a distinct hallmark of that family. Most of the winter nights are followed with a hot piping bowl of Khichdi, stir fried veggies, Poppadums and my mango pickle. Oh..and spoonfuls of butter too (Shh..)
The most common method of cooking Khichdi is using just the two key ingredients rice and lentil and cooking the same till it becomes mushy, hence the name Khichdi (means mushy in Hindi). This simple form of Khichdi is introduced as the first food to infants in many houses and is also given to sick and weak people.
Spices and veggies are added to the recipe to make it more rich and scrumptious. But my favorite is always the plain semi liquid Khichdi of rice and lentils with just salt and black pepper in it.
I was a bit hesitant to post a Khichdi recipe here as there is nothing spectacular about this recipe. But then could not resist sharing a few simple tricks and techniques I use to make my Khichdi a delight.
- 3/4 cup white or brown rice
- 1/2 cup Lentils (split green gram)
- 1/4 cup Millet (sorghum or Jowar)
- 1 onion
- 1/2 cup mixed vegetable
- 4 cups of water or more
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 tsp. oil
- 1 green chilly
- 2 cloves
- 1 cardamom pod
- Salt as desired
- A pinch of Asafoetida
Method; Washa soak the rice, lentils and millets in clean water till you assemble other ingredients for the recipe.
Peel and chop onion and all the veggies you are using in the recipe. Vegetbales such as Peas, potatoes, beans, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, corn and spinach goes well with Khichdi. Slit the green chilly into two.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker or any heavy bottom vessel and add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamon, asafetida powder, green chilly and sliced onion in it. Sauté for a few minutes and add soaked rice, lentil, millet and all the chopped veggies in it.
Pour 2 cups of water and cook for two whistles or till it become soft and mushy. Take off from the flame and slightly mash the cooked content with the back of a ladle.
Pour 2 cups of hot water in the mushy Khichdi and mix everything well. Add more water if you like runny texture
This Khichdi is another version cooked with lentils and couscous (broken wheat or Dalia) in the same manner as above.
Serve the Khichdi hot with yogurt Raita and stir fried veggies such as Broccoli, carrot sticks, cucumber. Add an extra spoon of fresh butter to increase the taste and yum quotient of this comfort ‘one pot meal’.
How do you cook your Khichdi, would love to hear from you?
- Check the Glossary page for translation of terms mentioned in Hindi to that in English.
- Use a mixture of lentils and various Millet to make Khichdi.
- Replace green chilly with ½ tsp. of black pepper powder for a different flavor.
- Many use Garam masala powder to spice their Khchdi.