Sometimes, all one craves is a simple home cooked meal; one that literally cooks itself, using a few pantry and refrigerator staples.
Khichdi in its most basic version is a combination of basmati rice and moong/mung lentils, with minimum spices and aromatics, simmered in a covered pan till the rice and lentil grain is well cooked.
It’s a bowlful of delicious warm goodness served just as-is. The butter at the end of the cooking process is my touch to this recipe, one that gives unbeatable flavor and glaze to Khichdi. Often, vegetables are added to this rice and lentil preparation to create a heavier meal, making our Khichdi recipe a blank canvas, ready for your creativity.
Classics vegetables added to Khichdi include fresh or frozen peas, spinach, diced carrots, onion or potatoes. Or change it up and throw in a handful of Brussels sprouts, zucchini, butternut squash or kale to create your own signature Khichdi version.
Personally, this satisfying daal-n-rice mélange is my go-to meal for days when all I need is a warm bowl of Indian goodness, a no-fuss one pot preparation that can be brought together, in under half an hour.
As the warm steam from a freshly prepared bowl of Khichdi rises to meet your senses, I promise you a meditative meal for the soul like none other.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 ½ cups yellow moong/mung lentils
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (3-4 cloves garlic & 1 inch ginger, grated))
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Wash the rice and lentils together in a colander. Soak the rice and lentil grains in 7 cups of water in a bowl and leave aside till required.
- In a deep sauté pan with a tight fitting lid, heat the canola oil and add cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste and ground turmeric to it. Fry the aromatics and spices for a minute, and then add the measured rice, lentils and water to the pot along with salt.
- Mix the Khichdi and let it come to a boil uncovered. Reduce the flame to medium-low, cook covered for 15-20 minutes till the rice and moong/mung grains are cooked to your desired texture; stirring a couple of times in the last five minutes to make sure the rice and lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Taste for salt, adding more if required.
- Off the flame, while still hot, sprinkle fresh cilantro and butter over the rice-n-lentil Khichdi. Keep covered and serve the steaming hot Khichdi in a bowl along with your favorite pickle or chutney.
- Slower cooking vegetables like potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts can be added to the Khichdi along with the rice and lentils at the start of cooking. Quick cooking vegetables like frozen peas, zucchini, red peppers, spinach and kale should be added in the last five minutes of cooking.
- Consistency of Khichdi varies around India, with each region and ethnicity having their ideal texture and consistency. To reach your desired consistency, add water to the mixture as required and check for salt based on the liquid being added.