‘There is a new restaurant in Prahladnagar that serves over 20 varieties of khichdi. You must visit!,’ one of our family acquaintances told me, when we were in Ahmedabad recently. Being the big fans of khichdi that the husband and I are, we were excited to hear this. We wanted to check this place out, for sure. And so, one evening, we geared up and headed to this eatery – called Khichdi, Etc. – to explore.
Our experience at Khichdi, Etc. was absolutely delightful, I have to say. I had expected a small hole-in-the-wall kind of place, which would have seating on bamboo stools and serve a variety of traditional Gujarati khichdi. What I found was a small place all right, but a place that served a variety of well-researched, tried and tested national as well as international versions of khichdi. Yes, you read that right. Khichdi, Etc. is where you will find the traditional stuff like Sabudana Khichdi, Bajra & Moong Khichdi, Akshardham Temple-Inspired Khichdi, Daal Khichdi and Masala Vegetable Khichdi, but also some interesting fusion stuff like Thai Khichdi, Mexican Khichdi, Mushroom & Pesto Khichdi, Cheese Masala Khichdi, Mutter Paneer Khichdi and Shahi Mewa Khichdi.
A khichdi-themed restaurant is unique, I have to say. I haven’t come across one before. Considering the waves khichdi has been making in the Indian news lately, this is an in-with-the-times, brilliant concept, for sure. I loved the way the restaurant has not only stuck to the traditional Indian varieties of this rice-and-lentil dish, but has also tried to do a lot of innovative, unheard-of things with it.
The Indian varieties of khichdi at Khichdi, Etc. are all served with papad rolls and a cup of curd, that soul-satisfying, eternally comforting combination of food. The international fusion ones, all listed in their menu under the head ‘Vilayati Twist’, are served on their own. Each khichdi dish offered by the restaurant serves one person, which I think is a great idea, enabling a group to try out several of their delectable confections.
Khichdi is, of course, the mainstay of Khichdi, Etc. It has a few other things on the menu, too, though – breads such as Ajwaini Paratha and Tawa Laccha Paratha; sabzis like Paneer Lababdar and Dhaba-Style Badi Ki Sabzi, accompaniments like Desi Ghee, Bhuna Jeera Chaas, Raita and Cheese; and just Shahi Mewe Ka Halwa and Gulab Ki Kheer in desserts. Very well thought out and succinct menu, isn’t it?
Like most restaurants in Gujarat, Khichdi, Etc. too serves only 100% vegetarian food.
What We Tried Out
Of course, the husband and I wanted to try out all of the exciting stuff that the menu had on offer, but we couldn’t. We resisted, and stuck to ordering two Indian khichdi dishes and two international fusion ones. We loved most of what we tried out.
The Hare Pyaaz Aur Lehsun Ki Khichdi we started off with was mild and simple, redolent of the smells of green onion and garlic, but not overpoweringly so. It was nice, but didn’t go on to become a favourite with us.
Next up, we opted for the Akshardham Temple-Inspired Khichdi, which was again very homely and simple. I quite liked this, but didn’t fall in love with it.
Both of these khichdi dishes were accompanied by papad rolls and a cup of curd. We asked for a cup of Bhuna Jeera Chaas to go with them, which was just perfect – the right amount of sour, the right amount of thick.
Then, we chose a Thai Khichdi, expecting it to be just regular khichdi with some Thai ingredients thrown in. What was presented to us simply blew us away, though. It was not some run-of-the-mill fusion dish, but delicious fusion done perfectly. The Thai Khichdi was the star of the meal for me – it was so finger-lickingly good that it disappeared within minutes of arriving at our table. I could taste the ginger root, the lemongrass, the zucchini, the coconut milk that had gone into it. Simply beautiful!
Lastly, we chose a Baked Khichdi, which turned out to be another beauty. This one was so simple, yet so elegant, so delicious. With its cheesy baked top and salt-and-pepper khichdi within, this dish bowled us over. Love!
And that was all we (a group of three) could try out. We headed back with contented hearts and full tummies that had absolutely no space even for dessert!
Service was quite fast. Everything we asked for was available, and arrived at our table within a matter of minutes. The staff was courteous and warm.
Like I was saying earlier, Khichdi, Etc. is a small place with just about 5 tables. It was a weekday night when we visited, and we got a table immediately. On the weekends, though, I am guessing the eatery would be overflowing with people, especially considering its location in the hip-and-happening Prahladnagar area.
The decor is simple and functional. One of the walls displays some of the media coverage that Khichdi, Etc. has received. The lighting is slightly dim, but the place is in no way dark or dingy.
We found the prices here to be on the higher side. All of the desi khichdi variants are priced between INR 149 and INR 179, while the vilayati ones are all priced at INR 179. Considering the exotic ingredients that might have been used in the vilayati versions (not that anything is all that exotic in India these days, anyways), the high prices might even be justified. I can’t say the same about the desi versions, though.
I’m beginning to wonder if the international fusion dishes at Khichdi, Etc. are more well-researched, more delicious, better than the Indian ones. Our experience at the eatery certainly seems to suggest that, but I cannot really comment on the same until I have tried out most of the stuff on their menu. And, I do want to – can’t wait to – try out all of the other yummylicious-sounding dishes the eatery has to offer!
Would I recommend this place? Yes, I most definitely would, for the beautiful fusion khichdi, for the unique concept. You might want to call ahead and make a reservation, though, especially if you plan to visit on the weekends!
This isn’t a sponsored post. We visited anonymously, and paid for the entire meal personally. I wasn’t asked to review this place, but am doing it because I really loved the food here and the concept. The views expressed herein are completely honest, not influenced by anything or anyone.