Food For The Soul OR An Upset Stomach:) – Dal Khichdi

Khichdi in its simplest form was yesterday’s dinner – because I returned late, I was feeling too tired to go in for rice, gravy and dry veggies, and because of the long power cut to top it all! It is also the best comfort food – the color is bright but not gaudy, the consistency is such that you don’t need to chew or munch on it much and it still contains everything one needs for nourishment.
In North India khichdi refers to a plain grainy concoction of rice and moong/masur/tuvar dal cooked soft with salt and seasoned with curry leaves and jeera. The Southern counterpart is the ‘pongal’ which is again rice and moong cooked soft but seasoned with roasted black pepper and jeera powder. Both the versions in its rustic forms are bland and considered ideal food when one has an attack of dysentry! Pongal or khichdi is also one of the early foods introduced to babies. It is good for the sick or aged as it does not contain fat (unless you would like to add more), and is easily digestible.These days as with everything else the basic khichdi has undergone a sea change and in restaurants what is served in the name of khichdi is spicy tuvar and rice combo with dollops of ghee and heavy seasoning!!I adhere to the bland version as I like the subtle flavor of spices. I like to have a dash of pickle as an accompaniment as it has a sharp and tangy taste that complements the bland khichdi. The best way to serve it is summarised as “khichdi ke chaar yaar. Dahi, papad, ghee, achaar”!

Recipe : Dal Khichdi | A lentil and rice preparation from North India

Ingredients:
Rice – 1 cup
Masur dal (Red gram dal) – Approx 1/4 cup
Tuvar dal (Split pigeon peas) – A fistful

Seasoning:
Onion – 1 medium (Sliced thin)
Curry leaves, ginger (Optional)
Garlic – 2 pods (Crushed slightly)

Bay leaf – 1/2(If big)
Cinnamon – 1″ stick
Star Anise – 1 (Optional)
Jeera – 1 tsp.
Two cashews for topping
Oil or ghee – 1 to 2 tbsp. (I used mustard oil)
Salt to taste

Method:
Mix the dals together. Cook rice and dals separately till very soft.

Heat mustard oil to smoking hot. Let cool completely. Heat again and splutter jeera. Add garlic, cashew, cinnamon, bay leaf and onions in order.

Fry till the onions turn brown.

Add the cooked rice and dal with enough water to rissotto like consistency or even more flowy if you would like. Adjust salt.

Mix well and serve hot with “dahi, papad, ghee, achaar”.

We had this with mango pickle and leftover aloo subzi. Tastes best when hot!

Verdict: If there is a ‘food for the soul’, this is it!

Updated: The USP of this dish is the mustard oil – dal and veggies like aloo-gobi, aloo-matar etc. taste yummy when seasoned in mustard oil!

The khichdi goes to Srivalli of Cooking 4 all Seasons for the Rice Mela ending 30/11!

Joan of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures is hosting a special kind of Thanksgiving – A Town Thanksgiving Adventure, and khichdi is perfect as it is classic Indian – simply elegant and spicily seductive!For other interested in participating, the deadline is midnight of 16/11.

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Something similar that might be an option

Bengali Khicuri

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Comments

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  1. Mahimaa's kitchen

    You have made a simple kichdi look terrific. i have made only pongal and not this kind of kichdi. after seeing ur pic, i can’t help but bookmark this recipe. so healthy and yummy.. isn’t it?

  2. I agree with you I like my khichdi with few and subtle spices rather than the heavily spiced version…yours looks yum..

  3. Delicious.I had once made bengali one and it was fine with me.I will try this also.Actually I am not a dal person,but the bengali one changed me.

  4. Ultimate comfort food!

  5. Comfort food at its best. Yum.

  6. Your writing is tempting enough to try this kichadi soon. You have presented the humble kichadi as an exotic dish. Great click too.

  7. Few ingredients (masala) adding gave a different name in North … Ur kichdi is little watery and feel just scooping from the screen 🙂

  8. The power cuts here too is driving everybody crazy … all the appliances lying idle .. a jungle is a good choice to live in right now .. at least we would get pure oxygen. 🙁
    Your khuchdi looks delicious as usual … I usually dunk in everything into the cooker … will try tempering it like you next time .. the fried garlic looks so crispy.

  9. Beautiful pics.

  10. Kitchen Flavours

    Adding toor dal is something new to me. With all those spices, wow, sounds spicy and looks yummy.

  11. Thanks all!

    Sweatha – I too like Bengali khichuri. Blogged it too:)

    Sharmila – In Pune too! I thought it was restricted to Mumbai Suburbs! For us the load shedding last five hours a day!! I love toasted or fried garlic!

  12. this is really comfort food,..how u dng,..?liked the new look of ur blog,…i have so much to catch up,..everywhere…will catch uo with ur pother posts soon,…ceeya…hppy bloggin…

  13. Ultimate soul food

  14. Srilekha – Thanks! I think I will have some entries too this time:)

    Priyanka – Welcome back!! So good to see you:)

    Simran – Yup!

  15. Love "Khichuri" :-DD a bong myself. Believe it or not it is one of our fav. food at home. with some papad & achaar..

    Loved that garlic!!

  16. Beautiful picture. Just the picture shows how comforting it is.

  17. The khichdi looks so delicious. Easy to make with a few spices, love your version 🙂

  18. Mahimaa's kitchen

    I made ur kichdi today and loved it to the core.. this will be a regular in our house from now on!! thank u some much dear..

  19. Temptinh khichidi..makes me hungry..have a look at my blog, something waiting for u..http://priyaeasyntastyrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/11/awards-time.html

  20. Lakshmi Venkatesh

    Kichdi is looking tempting. Dear Harini, you have something waiting for you in my blog.

  21. Kichindi in a new flavour. Looks yummy and lovely photographs. Something is waiting for you in my blog.

  22. This is ultimate comfort food;. It is easy to make ans is light on tummy too.. Your’s looks really yummy have to try it 🙂

  23. Glad u liked it Harini.

  24. We love kichidi too, filling yet nutritive and easy for us to cook. Your kichidi looks lovely!

  25. Thank you all!

    Priya, Lakshmi, Vidhas – Thank you so much for the buddy tag:)

  26. comfort food..love it anytime..

  27. yum yum yum! I haven’t had khichdi in ages. and this one comfort food for me. lovely pictures!
    BTW, ther is something for you at my blog. Please come and pick it up! (so that you don’t get confused, I’ll be emailing you the details of my entry to your event soon )

  28. Hey, I love khichidi.. Shall try this simple and easy one!! Nice entry !!

    Hey thanks for ur sweet words in my blog 🙂 !!

  29. kichdi looks fabulous Harini!

    Please visit my place for a treat:

    http://teluguruchi.blogspot.com/2008/11/old-post-and-some-sweet-surprises.html

  30. Please check my blog, I have something for you 🙂

  31. I could pick up that incredible bowl of khichdi right now and eat it all up! How delicious and comforting does that look, Sunshinemom?

  32. thats a real comfort food..thanks for the entry!

  33. Looks divine, and real comfort food too! Here's some pictures of some khichari I made recently – it's still soft but slightly less mushy: http://mangosoup.blogspot.com/2009/08/cauliflower-and-pea-khichari.html

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