Typically khichdi is made by boiling lentils and rice together till it has a porridge-like consistency and then seasoning it.
Khichdis, that are each wonderful, nutrient-rich meals by themselves, exist in umpteen forms and ought to be much more celebrated than they are. They taste heavenly.
Maharaj Bhanwar Singh takes a short cut for his Vegetable Poha Khichdi and, unusually, poha or flattened rice is cooked up with yellow mung dal and a medley of vegetables of your choice.
Serve up this satisfying, fragrant khichdi hot, with a katori or bowl of dahi or raita, Gujarati-style kadhi, papad and a pungent pickle.
Vegetable Poha Khichdi
- 100 gm mung dal
- 100 gm poha
- 2 tsp sambar powder
- 1 tsp gud or jaggery or to taste
- 2 tsp imli or tamarind water
- 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables, like chopped beans, cubed potatoes, julienned carrots, spinach, cubed yam, cubed green bananas, cubed eggplant, chopped tomatoes, chopped capsicum, green peas
- 1 onion, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp haldi or turmeric
- 1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
- 5-7 curry leaves
- 1 Kashmiri chilly
- Water to cook the khichdi
- Wash and soak the poha in water for 15 minutes.
- Wash and drain the mung dal.
Transfer only the dal to a pressure cooker.
Add the chopped vegetables.
Add enough water to amply cover the vegetables and dal.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and boil the dal and sabzi over medium heat for one whistle or till the mung dal is half cooked.
Take off heat.
Let the pressure release on its own.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed kadhai or saucepan over medium heat.
Add the mustard seeds.
Let them crackle and then add the curry leaves.
Add the haldi and saute for 10 seconds.
Add the chopped onions and the Kashmiri chilly.
Saute till golden brown.
Add the cooked dal and vegetables.
Add the drained poha.
Add the sambar powder, jaggery, tamarind water.
Adjust the salt.
Add more water so it has khichdi consistency.
Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Take off heat and serve hot.
Editor's Note: A tbsp of ghee or butter or cashew butter instead of oil may make this khichdi taste more magical.
Consider adding ½ tsp hing or asafetida and/or 5-6 black peppercorns while tempering the mustard seeds and 1 tsp of grated ginger while frying the onions.
Other interesting substitutions in place of the vegetables already suggested or additions to this khichdi could be a handful of fresh, chopped methi or fenugreek leaves; or 1 tbsp kasuri methi or dried fenugreek; sauteed mung badis or mangodis or dried mung dal dumplings; sauteed chopped cashews; peeled cubed arbi (colocasia); peeled cubed sweet potatoes.
Several types of poha are now easily available like red rice poha, corn poha, organic poha, millet poha.
A healthy, diabetic-friendly red rice poha, for instance, could lend extra flavour to this khichdi.
Khichdi matches well with Gujarati kadhi or Goan eggplant pickle or sabudana or sago papad or fried fish or fried salt fish or a mutton fry.
Try, as an accompaniment to the khichdi, Reshma Aslam's recipe for Kadhi Pakora.
Or Sangita Agarwal's Dahi Baigana.
Else Hitesh Harisinghani's Sindhi Mutton Fry.
Maybe Ramapriya Suresh's Meen Pollichathu or Fried Fish In Banana Leaves Wrap.
You could take a page out of Maharaj Singh's book and try this variation: On any day if you have a little bit of dal leftover, fry it up with a mix of vegetables, imli, masalas and then add soaked poha.
Maharaj Bhanwar Singh is the corporate chef at Khandani Rajdhani, a chain of restaurants serving Rajasthani and Gujarati thalis.