I haven’t seen kale being used much in Indian recipes; it is mostly used in things like soups, salads, stir-fries and chips. That’s mainly because kale is not available all that commonly in India. The scene is fast changing, though. With the advent of farms like Orinko and Namdhari’s, many ‘exotic’ veggies and fruits – kale included – are becoming available in parts of India. Did you know that kale lends itself very well to Indian dishes? I have been experimenting with it, and have been very pleased with the results! I shared the recipe for Kale Thogayal a while ago, and now, here’s presenting to you all Kale Khichdi!
A low-down on this Kale Khichdi
This is a very simple khichdi made using moong dal, rice and Tuscan kale from Orinko Farms. It is made using a few everyday ingredients that are regular finds in a typical Indian kitchen.
This Kale Khichdi is a one-pot dish that can be put together in a matter of minutes. I make it in a large pressure cooker – just get all the ingredients ready, add them to the pressure cooker, allow to whistle, and… it’s done! This is the perfect go-to recipe for busy weekdays.
It is homely and comforting, food for the soul when had piping hot. Drizzled with some ghee, it’s a beauty.
#OnePotWonder At Foodie Monday Blog Hop
I’m sharing this recipe with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, which is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers showcasing recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every week. The theme this Monday is #OnePotWonders, and all of us are sharing interesting recipes that can be cooked in a single pot, in a jiffy.
Archana ji, the very talented author of The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen, was the one who chose this theme. The One-Pot Vegan Jambalaya she has cooked up for the theme is bomb! Can’t wait to try it out!
How to make Kale Khichdi
Here’s how I make it.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 1 cup rice
- 1/4 cup moong dal
- A handful of kale leaves, 2 cups when finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 medium-sized tomato
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- 7 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Red chilli powder to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
- 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
- Ghee, as needed to drizzle over the khichdi (optional)
1. Wash the kale leaves thoroughly, remove the thick stem from the centre and discard. Chop the leaves finely. I had 2 cups of chopped kale.
2. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop roughly.
3. Grind the ginger and garlic together to a paste, using a little water. Keep aside.
4. Peel the onion and chop finely. Chop the tomato finely too. Keep aside.
5. Wash the rice and moong dal together, thoroughly. Drain out the water. Keep ready.
6. Now, we will start preparing the Kale Khichdi. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker base. Add in the mustard, and allow it to sputter. Then, add in the carom seeds, the cumin and the asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
7. Add in the onions, and turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for a minute.
8. Add in the chopped kale. Saute on medium flame for a minute.
9. Add in the ginger-garlic paste we prepared earlier. Saute on medium flame for a few seconds.
10. Add in the washed and drained rice and moong dal. Saute on medium flame for a minute.
12. Now, add in 7 cups of water.
13. Add in the chopped tomatoes.
14. Add in the salt and turmeric powder.
15. Add in the garam masala.
16. Add in the jaggery powder. Mix well. Taste the water and adjust salt or seasonings as needed.
17. Now, close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on. Turn the flame up to high. Allow 4 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure has gone down completely, your Kale Khichdi is ready. Mix it up well and serve hot with raita of your choice, plain curd, papad and/or pickle. Drizzle a little ghee over the khichdi while serving (if using).
Is this Kale Khichdi vegan and gluten-free?
This is a completely vegetarian preparation that is gluten-free as well. Skip the drizzling of ghee on top, as suggested in the above recipe, to make it vegan or plant-based.
Tips & Tricks
1. I have used Sona Masoori rice here. You can use any variety you prefer.
2. Adjust the salt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and jaggery powder as per personal taste preferences. You may use green chillies instead of the red chilli powder, too.
3. I would personally not recommend skipping the jaggery powder. The jaggery does not make the khichdi overly sweet, but rounds off the other flavours beautifully.
4. Chana masala can be used in place of the garam masala.
5. The above method yields a well-cooked, soft khichdi that is just perfect for us. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of water you use or the number of whistles you allow, depending upon the consistency you require.
6. I have used an 8-litre pressure cooker to make this Kale Khichdi.
7. Make sure the pressure has completely gone down before opening the cooker.
8. If the khichdi feels dry after the pressure releases, you can add in some more water, adjust salt and seasonings and simmer it for a couple of minutes. This will adjust its consistency.
9. Do not use too much of kale, as it can make the khichdi bitter.
10. Fenugreek (methi) or spinach (palak) greens make for great substitutes for the kale in this recipe.
11. I have used Tuscan kale – also called ‘Dinosaur Kale’ – to make this dish. You may use any other variety of kale too.
12. You may change the proportions of rice and moong dal, as per your taste preferences. The above quantities work perfectly for us.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!