Khichri was never a part of my growing up years, at home it was more of kanji or rice porridge when we were ill or just as a comfort food. I remember seeing it being cooked quite regularly at a neighbour’s place and thinking of it as a gourmet dish. The time when I actually fell for it was when I had it as bhog at Ram Krishna Ashram, Mumbai during the Durga Puja days…that is when I was hooked.
I experimented quite a bit to get to the taste which I was craving for and I guess now I have zeroed in to it. Everyone at my home now loves it. When I got married my husband was shocked to hear that khichri at my maiden home was a requested dish and not something which was forced down our gullets when we were ill.
At my in laws place khichri is mostly made using arhar or tur dal and moong dal is only used if someone is ill. But for me khichri has to be made of moong dal and has to be the Bengali version with vegs too. A perfect combination is moong dal khichri and dahi kadhi…wow…
1 cup rice,
1 cup moong dal,
3-4 big cauliflower florets,
1 medium-sized quartered potato,
1-2 brinjals (quartered)
1 tbsp ginger paste,
A generous pinch of asafoetida,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
2 bay leaves,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
½ tsp chilli powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
½ tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste,
2 tbsp ghee
Roast the moong dal on a low flame till it is a light golden brown. Let cool and wash this with the rice.
Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker, add the bay leaves, cumin seeds, pepper corns and asafoetida. Tip in the vegetables and fry on a low flame for about 3 mins, add the ginger paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder. Continue frying for another 3-4 minutes.
Now add the rice and moong dal mixture, salt to taste and garam masala powder. Mix well. Add 10 cups of water, mix well and close the pressure cooker. Cook it for 3 whistles and open the cooker when the steam has been released on its own.
Serve hot. You can add a dollop of ghee as per your preference while serving.
Pumpkin chunks or carrot sticks can also be added to this khichri with the other vegetables.