When it comes to versatile dishes, khichdi tops our list. It’s a crowd-pleasing one-pot wonder made from pantry-friendly ingredients. While some consider it comfort food for days they feel under the weather, many others associate this humble dish with festivals-- khichri is popular during Makar Sankranti in Uttar Pradesh and the Durga Pujo Ashtami bhog is incomplete without khichudi.
One of the most ancient foods of India, from farmers to kings, khichdi was favoured by everyone. In his book, The Story of Our Food, author KT Achaya mentioned that the humble gruel was a staple meal and even travellers such as Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French jewel merchant, and Francois Bernier, Emperor Aurangzeb’s doctor, were taken in by the popularity of the khichdi. Even the British took it to Britain and made their own version, which we now know as kedgeree.
The preparation of khichdi has always had two primary components, rice and pulses, which is flavoured with spices. Over the years, several variations of it have been recorded based on various factors such as occasion and availability of ingredients. Here, we compile sumptuous khichdi recipes, traditional as well as innovative, for you to try when you’re bored of your regular.
1. This black urad dal and rice khichdi tempered with ghee, cumin, asafoetida, red chilli and ginger, comes straight from the kitchens of the Dogra community in Jammu. Traditionally, it is prepared as an offering for the community’s dieties at the beginning of a wedding ceremony. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for a Dogra wedding invite to taste this one as we’ve got the full recipe for you.
2. An important element in Sikh weddings, this is a simple moong dal and rice khichdi loaded with ghee, and flavoured with ginger and cumin. This khichdi is served to the bride when she arrives at her new home after the wedding. This ritual is called ‘khichdi rasam’ and the dish is known as doli wali khichdi.
3. Whip up celebrity Zarine Khan’s family recipe of moong dal khichdi in less than 30 minutes. The quick and easy dish is flavoured with aromatic spices such as whole cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves. And, what sets it apart from other versions of moong dal khichdi is fresh mint leaves, which adds a refreshing flavour.
4. A nutritious one-pot meal, chef Vaibhav Mahajan’s multigrain khichdi features rice, green chana and toor dal cooked until soft. The trio is cooked in a heavy bottomed pan with a tempering of cumin, onion, garlic, green chilli, turmeric and asafoetida. Roasted flax and sunflower seeds give an additional enjoyable texture to the multigrain khichdi.
5. This recipe comes from the kitchens of the pastoralist-warrior community tribe from Kathiawad region of Gujarat. Unlike the usual khichdi, this is a spicy dish loaded with vegetables and spices such as cumin, mustard seed, turmeric and garam masala. While this recipe uses French beans, carrot, brinjal and tomato, you can add absolutely any vegetable available in your kitchen. Traditionally, the Kathiawadi khichdi is accompanied by the Gujarati kadhi.
6. Chef Gautam Mehrishi gives the humble khichdi a fancy makeover. Treat your loved ones and yourself to a bowlful of buttery rice flavoured with salty olives, served alongside chicken skewers. The chicken is marinated in a creamy marinade made using yogurt, sunflower oil and powdered spices, including, cinnamon powder, turmeric, cumin, red chilli and coriander.
7. India meets Italy in this risotto-style moong dal khichdi by chef Ranveer Brar. For this fusion recipe, which can easily grace your festive dinner spread, rice is cooked in vegetable stock with cumin seed, black pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and salt. What completes this rice recipe is a roasted dry shrimp mixture on its top, and lady finger and bitter gourd chips on the side.
8. Trust chef Mehrishi to bring the most innovative dishes to the dining table. Here’s a layered khichdi that is baked in a big green coconut. Rice (parboiled in coconut milk and water), chopped French bean, boiled green gram, diced potato and coconut milk are layered on top of each other and the khichdi is finished off with a tadka of coconut oil, fenugreek seed, dry red chilli, curry leaves, ginger, and turmeric.
9. Moraiya khichdi is a vrat-friendly recipe that you can turn to when you not in the mood for the usual fasting foods of fruits and sabudana. It is known to provide much-needed nourishment and energy and can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. This millet khichdi is great for people with diabetes too as research suggests it may help regulate blood sugar levels.
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