The recipe I’m about to share today is for Masala Khichdi, literally a hug in a bowl.
Khichdi, aka comfort food
Khichdi ranks high in my list of comfort foods. A warm bowl of well-made khichdi, preferably drizzled with a little ghee, is as soothing to me as a warm hug from a loved one. There’s something about the simplicity of khichdi that makes it comfort food for not just me, but so many Indians across the globe, something that speaks to their hearts, isn’t it? So, how do I not turn to khichdi when the entire world is in a state of turmoil now, over the Corona crisis? I made this Masala Khichdi for lunch a few days ago and, as always, it helped smooth my fraying nerves.
Masala Khichdi, my way
While khichdi can be made using any variety of rice, I prefer using basmati for this particular Masala Khichdi. It is a simple affair, sans any veggies, with just onions and tomatoes going in. It is a very flavourful thing, though, ginger-garlic paste and assorted spices giving it a whole lot of oomph.
This Masala Khichdi is served with tempered ghee drizzled on top, which is the ‘cherry on the cake’. It makes the khichdi all the more fragrant and flavourful.
This is a completely vegetarian recipe. Skip the ghee to make it vegan or plant-based – not really recommended, but the khichdi will still taste great without it.
Skip the asafoetida used in the tempering to make it gluten-free. Most commercial brands of asafoetida do contain some amount of wheat flour and are, hence, best avoided when one is on a gluten-free diet. However, if you do find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.
One last note of caution – if the garam masala and other spices you are using in the khichdi are store-bought, don’t forget to check the labels for the ingredients used therein. Do make sure they meet your dietary requirements.
#CookingWithRice for Foodie Monday Blog Hop
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who showcase recipes as per a pre-determined theme, every week. The theme this Monday is #CookingWithRice, and all of us are posting different types of dishes cooked using rice. I chose to share the Masala Khichdi, an all-time favourite rice dish at our place, for the theme.
This week’s theme was suggested by Narmadha of Nam’s Corner, who has a great collection of traditional Tamilnadu recipes, baked items and fusion foods. I’m loving the sound of her Ghee Rice, Peanut Rice and Beetroot Rice, and can’t wait to try them out! Btw, you must definitely check her blog out!
Before we head to the Masala Khichdi recipe, let me tell you about some other khichdi versions on my blog.
Here you go:
How to make Masala Khichdi
Here’s how I make the Masala Khichdi.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
- 3/4 cup basmati rice
- 1/4 cup toor dal
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 medium-sized tomato
- 2-3 slit green chillies
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
- 3/4 teaspoon amchoor powder or to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder
- Red chilli powder to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon kasoori methi
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 dry red chillies
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
1. Wash the basmati rice thoroughly under running water. Drain out all the water. Transfer the drained rice to a wide vessel and add in 2-1/4 glasses of water. Pressure cook on high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
2. Wash the toor dal well under running water. Drain and transfer to a wide vessel. Add in about 1/2 cup water or just enough to cover the dal fully. Pressure cook on high flame for 5-6 whistles or till the dal is well done. Let the pressure release naturally.
3. Meanwhile, chop the onion and tomato finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep ready.
4. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop roughly. Grind the ginger and garlic together, using a little water. Keep ready.
5. When pressure releases, get the cooked rice and toor dal out. Gently mash the cooked toor dal.
6. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Saute the chopped onion on medium flame till it browns, 1-2 minutes.
7. Now, add the ginger-garlic paste and slit green chillies to the pan, along with the chopped tomato, a little salt and water. Cook on medium flame till tomato turns mushy, 1-2 minutes.
8. Add in the cooked toor dal, salt to taste, turmeric powder, garam masala, amchoor, red chilli powder to taste and jaggery powder. Add water as needed to adjust consistency. I usually add about 3/4 cup as I like my khichdi runny. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.
9. Add cooked rice. Mix well. Taste and adjust spices and salt. Add more water if needed. Cook for a minute on medium flame. Switch off gas.
10. Crush 1/2 tablespoon kasoori methi between your palms. Add to the pan. Add in the finely chopped fresh coriander.
11. Now, we will prepare the tempering. Heat the ghee in a tempering pan. Add the cumin seeds, dry red chillies and asafoetida. Let them stay in for 2 seconds, then add to the khichdi in the pan. Mix well. Your Masala Khichdi is ready to serve. Serve hot with curd or raita of your choice.
Tips & Tricks
1. I have used basmati rice to make this Masala Khichdi, but you can use any other variety of rice you prefer.
2. I cook the rice and toor dal separately – as opposed to dumping everything in a pressure cooker – because they need different cooking times.
3. You can add in more vegetables to the Masala Khichdi if you so prefer. I have used only tomato and onion here.
4. Lemon juice can be used in place of the amchoor.
5. I do the tempering at the very end so that the Masala Khichdi stays fragrant with ghee. You can use lesser or more ghee in the tempering, as per personal taste preferences.
6. Make sure the rice and toor dal are well-cooked, before adding them to the pan.
7. You can use more green chillies and avoid the red chilli powder completely. I prefer using a mix of green chillies and red chilli powder in the Masala Khichdi.
8. You may skip the jaggery completely, if you do not prefer it. I would, however, highly recommend it, as it beautifully rounds out the flavours of the Masala Khichdi.
9. Moong dal can be used in place of toor dal. In that case, you can cook the rice and dal together, since moong dal cooks faster than toor dal.
10. I have served this khichdi with thick curd, lightly salted and sweetened with jaggery powder, topped with some coarse roasted cumin powder.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!