Khichdi is my go-to food, whenever I am in need of some comfort, or when times are a little stressful. It is also the dish I turn to whenever I need to cook something warm and nutritious, but don’t have much time on hand. This particular khichdi – made with five types of lentils – is a big-time favourite in our household.
To make this khichdi, I use those colourful packets of mixed lentils that are commonly available in most supermarkets – they are a mix of masoor daal, toor daal, chana daal, split black urad daal, and split green gram daal. These daals go by different names – mixed daal, panchmel and panchratan daal, for instance.
Along with the lentils, I also use rice and whatever vegetables I have handy, in this khichdi. So, you can imagine just how packed with nutrition this dish is! It is quite flavourful too, and is extremely easy to put together. Served hot, with curd or a drizzle of ghee on top, this khichdi soothes the soul like nothing else.
Here is how I make this khichdi.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 cup rice (I use Sona Masoori)
- 1/2 cup mixed lentils
Salt and spices
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt, to taste
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- About 2 teaspoons of garam masala/ chana masala, or to taste
- 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
- 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and chopped into large cubes
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and chopped into large cubes
- 4 tomatoes, chopped into cubes
- A fistful of shelled green peas
- 1 small capsicum, chopped into large pieces
- A fistful of sweet corn kernels
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped length-wise
- About 8 French beans, strings removed and chopped into large pieces
- A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Grind these two ingredients into a paste in a mixer, using very little water. Keep handy.
- A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4-5 big cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons ghee or oil, or 1 teaspoon each of oil and ghee
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- A 1-inch piece of cinnamon
- 2 small bay leaves
- 4-5 cloves
- 4-5 pods of cardamom
1. Wash the rice and lentils under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water. Keep aside till it is time to use these ingredients.
2. Heat the ghee and/or oil in a pressure cooker bottom. I use a 5-litre pressure cooker to make this khichdi.
3. Add in the mustard. Allow to splutter. Add the asafoetida, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
4. Now, add the chopped onion, beans, carrot and potato, along with the corn kernels and green peas. Add in the ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a minute.
5. Add the slit green chillies, as well as the washed and drained rice and lentils. Mix well. Saute for a minute.
6. Add 6 cups of water, the chopped tomatoes and coriander, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, garam masala or chana masala, and sugar (if using). Mix well.
7. Taste the water, and add more seasonings, if required.
8. Close the pressure cooker when the water begins to boil. Put on the whistle. Allow to cook on high flame for 4 whistles, and switch off the gas.
9. Let the pressure come down naturally, before you open the cooker. Give the khichdi a stir before you serve it.
10. Serve hot with plain curd or raita or with ghee drizzled on top.
1. The little quantity of sugar that you add to this khichdi will not make it overly sweet. In fact, it helps in bringing out the flavours of the dish even more beautifully.
2. Increase or decrease the quantity of water, depending on how you want the consistency of the khichdi to be. This recipe yields khichdi that is soft, but not overly soggy, and is just right for us.
3. 4 whistles of the pressure cooker works just fine for us. Adjust the number of whistles depending on your family’s preferences.
4. You could use broken wheat (dalia) or brown rice for a healthier version of this khichdi, instead of ordinary rice. Alternatively, you could use basmati rice, too. Adjust the quantity of water that you use, accordingly.
5. I love using chana masala in this khichdi, sometimes, for a change, rather than garam masala. Using either masala makes for a tasty khichdi.
6. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. I have listed out the veggies that I commonly used to make this khichdi.
7. Skip using the ginger-garlic paste, if you don’t want to use it. It adds to the flavour of the dish, but isn’t a must.
8. You could skip using the garam masala or chana masala, too. The khichdi will then be simple, but still delish.
You like? I hope you will try this out too, and that you will love it as much as we do!