Growing up in Ahmedabad, I would turn up my nose in disdain whenever the word ‘khichdi’ was mentioned. For me, ‘Khichdi‘ translated into boring, bland food that was for the sick or the elderly. Khichdi for lunch or dinner meant a lacklustre meal that I had no interest in consuming. And, then, one fine day, one of my Gujarati friends introduced me to Moraiya Ni Khichdi, a dish made with ‘moraiyo‘, the local name for barnyard millet. I fell for the delicious khichdi hook, line and sinker and the rest, as they say, is history. It remains a favourite of mine till date.
Moraiyo or Moriyo in Gujarati, Samak Ke Chawal or Sama Ke Chawal, Samai Arisi in Tamil, the barnyard millet goes by so many names. As it is technically not a grain, it is commonly used in the preparation of food during fasts, particularly so in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and surrounding parts. This is why you will also find it referred to as ‘Vrat Ke Chawal‘ (literally ‘the rice that you can consume during fasts’ in Northern India. Moraiyo is a very versatile ingredient too, lending itself beautifully to khichdi, kheer, dhokla and tikkis alike. It is gluten-free as well.
Today, I present to you the recipe for Moraiya Ni Khichdi or Samai Arisi Khichdi, the way my friend taught me all those years ago. It is a delicious confection, potatoes and peanuts added to it for flavour, scented by ginger and green chillies, coriander and curry leaves, soured with curd. The Gujaratis refer to this dish as ‘Farali Khichdi‘, i.e. khichdi that can be eaten during fasting. I’m sure you will love this khichdi too, fast or no fast!
A little goes a long way, as far as moraiyo or barnyard millet is concerned. Use just 1/2 cup of the millet, and it will yield enough khichdi to generously serve two. The husband loves Moraiya Ni Khichdi too, and I make it often for breakfast or dinner. It is quite light on the stomach and easily digestible, perfect for the hot, hot, hot days prevailing in Bangalore right about now. What’s more, the little grain cooks super fast too. Tell me what is not to love, with this khichdi? 🙂
Now, without further ado, here’s the recipe for Moraiya Ni Khichdi or Samai Arisi Khichdi.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1/2 cup moraiyo aka sama rice (samai arisi)
- 1 medium-sized potato (urulai kizhangu)
- 2 tablespoons raw peanuts (kadalai)
- 1 tablespoon oil (ennai)
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeeragam) seeds
- 4 green chillies (pacha milagai)
- 2-3 dry red chillies (vara milagai)
- A 1-inch piece of ginger (inji)
- 1 sprig of curry leaves (karuvepillai)
- Rock salt to taste (kallu uppu)
- About 3/4 cup sour curd (thayir)
- 1/2 cup + 2-1/2 cup water (neeru)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander (kothamalli)
1. Dry roast the peanuts till crisp. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. When they cool down completely, coarsely crush them in a mixer. Don’t make a fine powder. Keep aside.
2. Peel the ginger and chop very finely. Keep aside.
3. Cut each green chilly into two, and slit length-wise. Keep aside.
4. Peel the potato and grate thick. Keep aside.
5. Wash the sama rice in running water a couple of times, draining out the excess water. Keep aside.
6. Now, heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add the finely chopped ginger, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
7. Add the grated potatoes to the pan, along with a little salt and 1/2 cup water. Cook on medium flame till the potatoes are done, 1-2 minutes.
8. Now, add the remaining 2-1/2 cups of water to the pan, along with salt to taste and slit green chillies. Let it come to a boil.
9. Add the washed and drained sama rice to the pan. Keeping the flame medium, cook till the sama rice is completely done. This should take about 2 minutes. You will need to keep stirring constantly, to ensure that no lumps are formed.
10. Now, keeping the flame medium, add the sour curd to the pan. Mix well, and let the mixture cook on medium flame for a minute more. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas while the Moraiya Ni Khichdi is still runny, as it will thicken on cooling.
11. Serve immediately, garnished with finely chopped coriander and roasted, crushed peanuts.
- You can adjust the amount of water and buttermilk, depending upon the consistency of the Moraiya Ni Khichdi you require.
- If the khichdi has become too hard on cooling, you can add in a bit more water and/or curd, and reheat it. It will loosen.
- Samai Arisi Khichdi is best served hot, when it is still runny.
- In this recipe, I have used only ingredients that are ‘allowed’ during fasting in a Gujarati household – rock salt, peanuts, buttermilk, cumin, ginger, green chillies and the like, with no asafoetida added in. If you plan to prepare this Samai Arisi Khichdi on a fasting day, please ensure that you use ingredients in accordance with the customs and traditions prevailing for the fast in your household. On a regular day, you can use common table salt instead of rock salt and add in asafoetida in the tempering too.
- This khichdi can also be made without the potatoes. Just skip the potatoes in that case, keeping the rest of the proceedure the same as above.
- You can also use ghee for the tempering, instead of oil.
- I have used home-made curd in the above Moraiya Ni Khichdi recipe, which is preferred on a fasting day. On a regular day, you may use store-bought curd instead.
- For best results, use curd that is sour but not overly so.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group that I am part of. Every Monday, a bunch of us food bloggers get together and cook for a pre-determined theme. The theme this week, suggested by me, is #DahiDelights, wherein all of us will be showcasing dishes made using curd.