Masala Khichdi

Masala Khichdi

Khichdi is a preparation of rice and lentils and is a comfort food. It is also a common baby food or food for people who are sick as it is a very basic and healthy food without any or much spices. It is a very quick recipe too. Rice and dal are pressure cooked with salt and turmeric and its done.

I was never a khichdi fan until I had this wonderful spicy or masala version of khichdi. In Bangalore, we were local guardians to a wonderful girl from Gujarat who was in Bangalore to study Pharmacy. Her mom made this Khichdi for us when she came to drop her to Bangalore. Since then, Masala khichdi is a regular on our menu.

Since then I have also tasted this dish at few restaurants where it is called dal khichdi. I still love this simple and quick masala version made by Ridhhi’s mom. This can be a quick and filling meal if you are tired to cook roti sabji or you just want a healthy one pot meal. You can eat this masala khichdi with pickle, curd, papad or have it the gujju way with a glass of chilled chaas (buttermilk).

Masala Khichdi

Ingredients

Serves 3

  • ¼ cup rice
  • ¼ cup mung Dal
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece ginger grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
  • 1 green chilli slit
  • 1 dry red chilli broken
  • 2 tbsp groundnuts
  • 1 small onions chopped
  • 1 small potato chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Wash rice and dal 3-4 times and soak them in 3 cups of water for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a cooker. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, dry red chilli, and green chilli. Add ginger and garlic and sauté. Add groundnuts and sauté. Add onions and cook till they are translucent. Add potatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala and mix well. Add the washed rice and dal with water. Add salt and mix well.

Close the lid and pressure cook for four whistles. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mix well. Mash the khichdi with the back of the spoon while mixing. Add chopped coriander and mix well. Serve hot with curd, pickle, and papad.

Pongal (South Indian Khichdi)

Pongal (South Indian Khichdi)

Pongal or Kara pongal (as known in Bangalore) is the south Indian version of Khichdi (a dish prepared with rice and lentils). This is a popular breakfast dish in south India and you can find it at any tiffin center. At my place, this is a quick recipe which my aunt makes when we crib about lunch or when we are hungry at odd times like 4-5 pm. This is her recipe of Pongal. Dal and rice are pressure cooked and a tempering of cashewnuts, black pepper, curry leaves, and cumin seeds in ghee is added to complete this yummy and quick breakfast.

Pongal and Vada served at the Tirupati Tirumala temple is the best Pongal I have ever eaten. Long time ago, when the Tirumala temple was not so commercial, common man could taste this pongal. You can still try your luck if you visit the temple for morning prayers. The most important thing to keep in mind for this recipe is to do the tempering (tadka) in ghee ONLY. That is what gives it the wonderful flavour. Remember to eat this hot and fresh. This can be served with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Pongal (South Indian Khichdi)

Ingredients

Serves  4

For Pongal

  • 3/4th cup rice
  • 1/4th cup moong dal
  • ½ inch piece of ginger grated (optional)
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 12-15 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 10-12 cashewnuts

Recipe

Combine the ingredients for pongal and pressure cook for 4 whistles on low flame. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mash the pongal with back of a spoon.

Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Add peppercorns and cashew nuts and sauté till the cashews are lightly browned.

Pour this tempering on the pongal and mix well. Serve hot with coconut chutney.