Winter is, slowly and gradually, beating a retreat. At least, that is the case here in Bangalore. The days are getting hot and sweaty, light and colourful summer clothes already making an appearance. The only evidence that winter was here are the chilly early mornings.
I am not really looking forward to the grime and sweat and dried up vegetables of summer. I am going to miss the past few months, when the produce in most vegetable shops was gorgeous, when I could spend hours tinkering around in my kitchen without fear of fainting. The dish that I present to you today – a khichdi with winter veggies – is a tribute to the beautiful winter days in Bangalore and the equally beautiful seasonal produce. Before the winter veggies disappear completely from the market, I wanted to celebrate them one more time, and this khichdi is an effort to do just that.
To make this winter-special khichdi, I have used spring onions, a vegetable that doesn’t often grace my kitchen platform. I have also used green chana aka choliya, pigeon peas aka tuver lilva, and fresh green peas. I have put in one of those gorgeous red, red, red Delhi carrots, too, and added a potato and capsicum for good measure. This khichdi, with its tempering of burnt garlic, tasted just fantabulous and made us a hearty end-of-winter dinner.
Do try out this winter-special khichdi too, and let me know what you think of it!
Here’s how I made the khichdi.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 1 cup rice
- 1/4 cup moong daal
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 green chillies
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar, or to taste
- 6 stalks of spring onion or onion greens
- 1 small capsicum
- 1/2 medium-sized red Delhi carrot
- 1 small potato
- 1 small onion
- 1/4 cup shelled green peas
- 1/4 cup shelled pigeon peas (tuver lilva)
- 1/4 cup shelled green chana (hara chana aka choliya)
- A few stalks of coriander leaves
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4-5 dry red chillies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 6-7 fat cloves of garlic
- A pinch of asafoetida
First, we will prep the veggies needed to make the khichdi.
- Peel the carrot and potato, and chop into cubes.
- Chop the spring onion and onion finely.
- Chop the capsicum into large pieces.
- Slit the green chillies length-wise.
- Chop the coriander finely.
- Keep the shelled green peas, pigeon peas and green chana handy.
- Peel the garlic and chop finely.
Now, we will prep the rice and moong daal.
- Wash the rice and moong daal together under running water, a couple of times.
- Drain out all the excess water. Keep aside.
Next, we will put the khichdi to cook.
- Take 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker bottom. Set on high flame.
- Add in the chopped spring onion, onion, carrot, capsicum and potato, the slit green chillies, the shelled green peas, pigeon peas and green chana.
- Add in the washed and drained rice and moong daal, along with salt and red chilli powder to taste, raw cane sugar, garam masala and turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Taste the water and adjust seasonings as required.
- Close the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
Meanwhile, we will get the tempering for the khichdi ready.
- Heat the ghee and oil together in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop.
- Now, add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
- Now, add the finely chopped garlic, and fry on medium heat for a couple of seconds.
- Add in the dry red chillies and let them stay in for a couple more seconds, on medium heat. Switch off gas, and keep tempering aside.
Lastly, we will get the khichdi ready to serve.
- When the pressure has completely released, open the cooker. Add the prepared tempering and the finely chopped coriander leaves to the khichdi.
- Mix well, but gently. Serve hot with curd or raita of your choice.
- I have used home-made garam masala here, which tends to be much more fresh and fragrant than a store-bought version. Hence, you need to use very little quantity in case of home-made garam masala as opposed to a store-bought version.
- Feel free to skip the raw cane sugar, if you want it that way. Personally, I think it adds a lovely flavour to the khichdi. You can use powdered jaggery or normal refined sugar in place of the raw cane sugar, too.
- I have used a mix of oil and ghee to prepare the tempering for the khichdi here. You can use only oil or only ghee for the same.
- You can also cook the rice and moong daal separately, saute the veggies separately, and then mix them together.
- I prefer preparing the tempering separately and then adding it to the khichdi. The same goes for the coriander too. I feel these little touches add a whole lot of flavour to the khichdi.
- You can skip one or two vegetables from the above list. I have tried to include most of my favourite winter special veggies here. You can also add in other veggies that you have handy. I would, however, suggest not skipping the spring onion, carrot, pigeon peas, green peas and green chana – those are the very things that make this a ‘winter-special khichdi‘!
- Here in Bangalore, we get a particular variety of spring onion, with no onion bulbs, with fat greens and small buds attached to them (shown in the picture above). I have used this variety of spring onion to make this khichdi. If you are using the thin greens with onion bulbs attached to them, you can chop up the greens as well as the bulbs and add them to the khichdi – you can skip adding the onion separately in that case.
- The slightly burnt garlic in the tempering infuses a beautiful aroma and taste in the khichdi. Make sure that you prepare the tempering on a medium flame, so as to avoid over-burning of the ingredients. Add in the dried red chillies at the very end, to prevent them from exploding.
- I have used Sona Masoori rice to make this khichdi. You can use Basmati or any other variety of rice, instead, too.
Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!