Hurda Koshimbir| Tender Jowar Salad

Hurda Koshimbir is definitely something you must try out, this winter!

What is hurda?

Hurda‘ or ‘ponk‘ refers to tender grains of jowar, a winter speciality and quite a phenomenon in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. We don’t usually get hurda here in Bangalore, but I got lucky this winter – I found fresh and absolutely delicious hurda in Native’s Basket, Electronic City! Today, I am going to share with you all the recipe for the Hurda Koshimbir I made with it.

Head to this post of mine for more details on hurda and for the step-by-step instructions on how to use it in a lovely khichdi.

Delicious Hurda Koshimbir

What is Koshimbir?

Koshimbir refers to the Maharashtrian way of making a salad, which uses roasted and crushed peanuts, grated coconut, chillies and lemon juice, among other things. It is a riot of flavours!

While hurda is typically eaten raw, on its own, or with a drizzle of lemon juice, salt and sev, I find that it lends itself beautifully to salad as well. I decided to make a Maharashtrian-style koshimbir with the hurda, and it did taste spectacular. It was a treat to the tastebuds, and was much liked by everyone at home.

The fresh tender jowar provided a wonderful bite to the salad. They had a natural sweetness to them, which went very well with the other spicy-tangy ingredients used.

Millets like jowar are a great addition to one’s diet, thanks to the many health benefits they possess. This Multigrain Dosa recipe by my fellow food blogger Narmadha uses two types of millets along with assorted grains – it’s super nutritious! I’m definitely going to try it out. 😊

How to make Hurda Koshimbir

Here is how I went about it.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1. 1-1/2 cups of hurda

2. 1 medium-sized carrot

3. 1 small onion

4. Salt to taste

5. 2 green chillies

6. 1/4 cup peanuts

7. 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

8. 2 teaspoons powdered sugar or to taste

9. 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

10. Juice of 1 lemon or to taste

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and right: Steps 5 and 6

1. Wash the hurda well under running water. Place in a colander and let all the water drain out.

2. Transfer the washed and drained hurda to a wide vessel. Add about 2 tablespoons of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Allow 2 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. In the meantime, dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they are crisp, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the roasted peanuts to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

4. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked hurda out. Drain out any residual water from it. Let it cool down completely, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add in salt and sugar and mix well.

5. Peel and grate the carrot medium-thick. Add to the mixing bowl.

6. Peel the onion and chop finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

Top left and right: Step 7, Centre left and right: Steps 8 and 9, Bottom left and right: Steps 10 and 11

7. Add the finely chopped coriander and grated coconut to the mixing bowl.

8. Chop the green chillies very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

9. Coarsely crush the roasted peanuts in a small mixer jar. Do not make a fine powder. Add this to the mixing bowl.

10. Add lemon juice as needed.

11. Mix everything well together. Your Hurda Koshimbir is ready. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

1. You can use raw, uncooked hurda to make this salad, especially if it is very fresh and tender. I pressure-cooked it because we prefer it that way. Alternatively, you could also lightly saute the hurda in a heavy-bottomed pan.

2. Allow the cooked hurda to cool down completely, before using it to make the salad.

3. Adjust the quantity of salt, sugar, lemon juice and green chillies as per personal taste preferences.

4. Honey or jaggery powder can be used in place of the powdered sugar I have used here.

5. Mince/chop the green chillies really finely.

6. The peanuts should be well roasted, for a flavourful salad. Remember to crush the roasted peanuts only coarsely and not into a fine powder.

7. Do not let the Hurda Koshimbir sit around for too long after preparation. Serve immediately.

8. You can also temper this Hurda Koshimbir with a little mustard sputtered in some oil + asafoetida. I haven’t, here.

9. Use very fresh, tender hurda for best results.

10. This is a completely vegetarian recipe, and vegan as well. It is perfectly suited to those following a plant-based diet. The above recipe is entirely gluten-free too.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Undhiyu| Gujarati Mixed Vegetable Curry

For me, winter is incomplete without gorging on Undhiyu at least a few times. I grew up in an undhiyu-making South Indian family in Gujarat, and can’t not make it when all those glorious winter veggies are at their bountiful best. That’s so not done! We make a relatively healthy version, in a pressure cooker, as opposed to the way it is traditionally made. I’m here today to share with you all our easy recipe for Pressure Cooker Undhiyu.

This recipe was published first on my blog in the year 2020. It is now re-published with more step-by-step pictures and better instructions.

Delicious pressure cooker Undhiyu!

What is Undhiyu?

If you are wondering what on earth Undhiyu is, let me begin by telling you that it is a celebration of winter, of all the lovely vegetables that are in season in the cold months. Think yam, carrots, sweet potatoes, hyacinth beans, pigeon peas, fenugreek leaves…Undhiyu is a Gujarati dish, made using a mix of these winter vegetables.

Traditionally, Undhiyu is made in an earthen pot or matka – the veggies are stuffed with a fragrant coriander-coconut-peanut masala, then layered in the pot, then sealed and set upside down to cook in a sand-covered pit. The name of the dish comes from the process of inverting the pot for cooking – inverting is ‘undhu‘ in Gujarati, hence ‘Undhiyu‘. It is also referred to as ‘Matla Undhiyu‘, thanks to the way it is cooked in an earthen pot ‘matlu’ in Gujarati).It is sheer delight, this dish. It is so flavourful and hearty that it would make one fall in love with winter veggies, if they aren’t already.

For Gujaratis, Undhiyu is more than just a dish. It’s an emotion, as it is for me too. It is a popular accompaniment to pooris and phulka rotis in Gujarat, a must-have on the festival of Uttarayan.

About Pressure Cooker Undhiyu

The traditional method of making undhiyu is quite laborious and time-consuming. Moreover, these days, hardly anyone has access to a sand pit where one can cook! 🙂 With time, Undhiyu began to be cooked in a pan on the stovetop, but the process still remained tedious and tiring. This Pressure Cooker Undhiyu is a rather simple, much easier way of cooking the dish – a cheat’s version, if you want to put it that way.

Once you have the veggies chopped and some basic prep work ready, making the Pressure Cooker Undhiyu is a matter of minutes. I don’t stuff the vegetables with masala, but add it as is to the pressure cooker – works just fine! It needs very little oil, as opposed to the oodles that goes into making Matla Undhiyu. I don’t deep-fry the veggies, the way I have seen some Gujarati families doing. I do deep-fry the Muthiya or fenugreek-leaf dumplings that go into the Undhiyu, but you could make them in an appe/paniyaram pan if you want to cut down further on the amount of oil used.

How to make Undhiyu in a pressure cooker

Let’s get to the recipe for the Pressure Cooker Undhiyu.

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable for those following a plant-based diet. It can also easily be made entirely gluten-free by avoiding the asafoetida used in the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  1. About 4 heaped cups of chopped veggies, like elephant foot yam, carrot, raw banana, cauliflower, hyacinth beans (See notes)
  2. 1 heaped cup of shelled beans (pigeon peas, hyacinth beans and green peas, mostly)
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon oil
  5. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  7. 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. 3-4 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste
  10. 4-5 green chillies
  11. 8-10 cloves of garlic
  12. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  13. 1/2 cup peanuts
  14. 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  15. About 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander + some more for garnishing
  16. Juice of 1 lemon or to taste

For the muthiya:

  1. 1 medium-sized bunch of fenugreek greens (methi leaves), roughly 1-1/2 cups when chopped
  2. 1 cup of gram flour (besan)
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. Red chilli powder to taste
  7. A fistful of fresh coriander
  8. 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  9. 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
  10. 1-2 tablespoons jaggery powder or as needed
  11. Oil, as needed for deep-frying

For the garnishing:

  1. Freshly grated coconut, as needed
  2. Finely chopped fresh coriander, as needed

Method:

First up, prep the vegetables required for the Undhiyu.

1. Peel the carrot, potato, sweet potato, elephant foot yam and raw banana, then chop them into large pieces.
2. Remove the tops from the eggplants, and chop into large cubes.

3. Chop the cauliflower into large pieces.
4. Remove strings from the hyacinth beans and cut them off into halves.
5. Keep the shelled green peas, hyacinth beans and pigeon peas ready.

Next, we will prepare the masala for the Undhiyu.

1. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp, taking care to ensure that they do not burn.
2. Let the peanuts cool down fully, then coarsely crush them in a mixer. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the fresh grated coconut and finely chopped coriander to the mixing bowl.
4. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop roughly. Remove the tops from the green chillies, and chop them roughly too. Grind the green chillies, ginger and garlic to a paste in a small mixer jar, using a little water. Add this paste to the mixing bowl too.
5. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl well together. The masala is ready.

Top left: The veggies, prepped and ready to go into the Undhiyu, Top right: The masala for the Undhiyu, Bottom left and right: Cooking the Undhiyu, steps 1 and 2

Now, we will start cooking the Undhiyu.

1. Take the oil in a large pressure cooker, and place on high flame. When the oil gets nice and hot, add in the sesame seeds, carom seeds and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
2. Add all the veggies to the pressure cooker. Layer the tougher root vegetables like elephant foot yam and sweet potato at the bottom, followed by potatoes, carrot and raw banana on top of them. Over this, place the vegetables that are easier to cook – cauliflower, hyacinth beans, brinjals and all the shelled beans.
3. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder and jaggery powder. Add about 1/2 cup of water from the sides. Place the masala we prepared earlier on top. At this stage, the cooker will be almost full to the brim. Don’t mix up the ingredients.
5. Close the pressure cooker, and put the weight on. Cook for 3 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

Top left and right: Cooking the Undhiyu, Step 3, Bottom left: The dough for the muthiya, Bottom right: The muthiya, being deep-fried

In the meanwhile, we will prepare the Muthiya.

1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the gram flour.
2. Add the finely chopped fenugreek leaves, salt, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, finely chopped coriander, red chilli powder, carom seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida. Mix well, using your hands.
3. Use a little water to bind the ingredients into a soft, pliable dough that is not too dry.
4. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Let the oil get nice and hot.
5. When the oil is hot enough, form small oval shapes from the dough. Drop them into the hot oil, 2-3 at a time. Deep fry on medium flame till brown on the outside, taking care to ensure that the muthiya do not burn. Transfer to a plate when done.
6. Deep fry all the muthiya in the same way, without overcrowding the pan.

That’s how the Undhiyu looks, after cooking and the pressure is released

Lastly, we will prep the Undhiyu for serving.

1. When the pressure from the cooker has fully gone down, open it. Add in lemon juice and the muthiya we prepared.
2. Mix well, but gently. The Undhiyu is ready to serve, once the muthiya have soaked for 20-25 minutes. Serve with pooris, rotis or parathas after garnishing with freshly grated coconut and finely chopped coriander.

Tips & Tricks

1. Groundnut oil works best in Undhiyu. However, any oil of your preference can be used.

2. Adjust the quantity of green chillies you use, as per personal taste preferences.

3. Typically, a large quantity of coriander and generous amounts of peanuts, garlic and coconut are used to make the masala for the Undhiyu. Don’t skimp on these ingredients – they add a whole lot of flavour to the Undhiyu.

4. The vegetables typically used in making Undhiyu are – Hyacinth beans (avarakkai or sem ki phalli), shelled hyacinth beans (avarakottai or sem ke beej), eggplants (kathrikkai or baingan), carrot, shelled green peas (patani or matar) , shelled pigeon peas (thuvarai kottai or hare toor), elephant foot yam (senaikizhangu or suran), raw banana (vazhakkai or kachha kela), cauliflower, potato (urulaikizhangu or aloo), sweet potato (sakkarai velli kizhangu or shakarkand). You can use these in any proportion you like – they should totally be about 5 heaped cups when chopped and ready. You can use any variety of eggplants. Personally, I like using a generous quantity of shelled pigeon peas, hyacinth beans and green peas in Undhiyu.

5. The traditional Gujarati Undhiyu uses a local variety of flat bean (called Papdi) and purple elephant foot yam (called Ratalu). However, these two vegetables aren’t very easy to find everywhere. Hence, I do away with the purple yam completely and use regular hyacinth beans (sem ki phalli) in place of the Papdi.

6. I use a large 8-litre pressure cooker to prepare the Undhiyu.

7. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder you use, as per personal taste preferences.

8. Pressure cook the veggies for 2-3 whistles, depending upon how firm/soft you want them to be. I prefer 3 whistles.

9. Adjust the quantity of fenugreek leaves you use in the muthiya, as per personal taste preferences.

10. Some people add the muthiya to the undhiyu just before serving. I prefer adding the muthiya to hot undhiyu, letting them soak for 20-25 minutes before serving.

11. The dough for the muthiya should be firm, but neither too dry nor sticky. If it gets too dry, add a bit of water. If it gets too sticky, adjust it with a little gram flour.

12. To test whether the oil for deep frying is hot enough, drop a little piece of the muthiya dough into it. If it  immediately starts to rise to the surface, the oil is just right – at this point, you should reduce the flame and start deep-frying the muthiya. If the dough doesn’t rise and settles down at the bottom of the pan, it indicates that the oil needs to get hotter.

13. You can layer the vegetables in the pressure cooker, too. Place some of the root vegetables at the bottom, spread a layer of the masala on top of them, then spread some more root vegetables over them. Again, another layer of masala, then one of the raw banana, cauliflower, eggplant and hyacinth bean pods. Another layer of masala on top, then the shelled hyacinth beans, green peas and pigeon peas. Finish with a layer of masala on top. You can add in the salt and turmeric powder on top – it gets evenly distributed when the veggies cook.

14. Some people add a mix of coriander (dhania) powder and cumin (jeera) powder to the Undhiyu. Some prefer adding a dash of garam masala. I usually do away with these ingredients.

15. Make sure you chop the veggies slightly large, so that they don’t get overcooked and too mushy

16. Any leftover Undhiyu can be refrigerated and used the next day.

17. If you can get your hands on green onion and garlic, do use them in the Undhiyu. I’m not a big fan of green onion and, hence, haven’t used it. We don’t get green garlic here in Bangalore, so I haven’t used it either.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Akha Mag Ni Dal| Gujarati Whole Green Moong Dal

Akha Mag Ni Dal is a Gujarati gravy that is made using whole green moong beans. Not only is it an easy thing to put together, but absolutely delicious as well. As in most Gujarati dishes, sweet and sour flavours blend beautifully with a mild spiciness to create a delectable whole. It pairs beautifully with plain rice as well as rotis.

Akha Mag Ni Dal or Gujarati Whole Green Moong Dal

Full of nutrition, green gram aka whole moong beans are one of our favourite legumes at home. I love that they are so versatile and can be used in so many different ways, and they don’t need too much prior soaking as well! I use moong beans often – in dishes like these Healthy Thai-Style Moong Bean Wraps, this comforting Mag Nu Pani soup, spongy dhokla, a divine sweet sundal and a Kerala curry with coconut milk. This Akha Mag Ni Dal is also another family favourite made with moong beans. Next on my to-try list is this wonderful Sprouted Moong Pulao my blog friend Swaty – it sounds so, so good!

Today, let me share with you all the way we make Akha Mag Ni Dal. This is a recipe I learnt from Gujarati neighbours years ago and have continued to make regularly since.

What goes into Akha Mag Ni Dal

Whole green moong beans are the key ingredient in this dal. Coriander seed powder and roasted cumin powder are the major spices used (I have added them separately in place of the dhana-jeeru, a mix of these spices and a key ingredient in several Gujarati dishes). There is a wee bit of garam masala going in too.

This Akha Mag Ni Dal gets its sourness from the addition of tamarind (in lieu of which kokum can be used, if available). Jaggery is used for sweetness, here.

This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe. Ginger and green chillies are used to add flavour to the dal, along with curry leaves and fresh coriander.

Akha Mag Ni Dal recipe

Here is how we make it.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1. 1 cup whole green moong beans

2. A small ball of tamarind

3. A 1-inch piece of ginger

4. 2-3 green chillies

5. 1 sprig of curry leaves

6. 3/4 tablespoon oil

7. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

8. 3/4 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds

9. 2 pinches of asafoetida

10. Salt to taste

11. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

12. Red chilli powder to taste

13. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste

14. 3/4 teaspoon coriander seed (dhania) powder

15. 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

16. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

17. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves

Method:

Top left and centre: Steps 1 and 2, Top right and below: Step 3, Bottom left and centre: Steps 4 and 5, Bottom right: Step 6

1. Wash the moong beans well. Soak them in enough water for at least 1-2 hours.

2. Soak the tamarind in a little warm water for at least 15-20 minutes, for it to soften. Let it cool down enough to handle.

3. Once the moong beans are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Transfer the washed and drained beans to a wide vessel, then add in about 1 cup of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5-6 whistles or till the moong beans are well cooked and soft (not too mushy). Let the pressure release naturally.

4. In the meantime, peel the ginger and chop finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep the curry leaves ready.

5. When the tamarind has cooled down, extract all the juice from it. Use a little more water to help with the extraction if needed, but do not make the extract too watery. Keep the tamarind extract ready.

6. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked moong beans out. Keep them ready.

Top left and right: Steps 7 and 8, Centre left and right: Steps 9 and 10, Bottom left and right: Steps 11 and 12

7. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds and let them sputter. Then add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida, finely chopped ginger, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Saute for a few seconds on medium flame, taking care not to burn the ingredients.

8. Now, keeping the flame at medium, add the cooked moong beans to the pan along with the water they were cooked in. Mash the moong beans lightly to give some texture and thickness to the dal.

9. Add in about 3/4 cup of water or as needed to adjust the consistency of the dal. Mix well.

10. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder.

11. Next, add in the tamarind extract.

12. Add in red chilli powder to taste.

Top left: Step 13, Top right and centre left: Step 14, Centre right: Step 15, Bottom left: Step 16, Bottom right: The Akha Mag Ni Dal, ready to serve

13. Almost immediately, add in the jaggery powder.

14. Add in the coriander powder, roasted cumin powder and garam masala. Mix well.

15. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes till the mixture thickens. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened but is still on the runnier side – remember that it will thicken up further upon cooling.

16. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Akha Mag Ni Dal is ready. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of jaggery, tamarind and spices as per personal taste preferences.

2. Make sure the moong beans are well cooked before using them to make the dal. At the same time, they should not be overly mushy.

3. I prefer soaking the moong beans for at least 1-2 hours to avoid digestion-related ailments. However, this dal can be made without soaking the moong beans too.

4. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how thick you want the dal to be. Remember that it thickens up quite a bit upon cooling too. The ideal consistency of this dal while serving should be thickish, but not overly so, not very watery.

5. You can skip the roasted cumin powder, coriander seeds powder and garam masala if you don’t prefer using them. This Akha Mag Ni Dal can be made without these as well.

6. Traditionally, kokum (Garcinia Indica) is used in this dal. I have used tamarind here, in place of the kokum. Lemon juice can be used instead, too.

7. I prefer this dal without onion and garlic. If you want to use them, you can definitely do so. Finely chopped tomatoes can also be added in.

8. This Akha Mag Ni Dal is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

9. This is not a gluten-free recipe, because of the use of asafoetida. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, hence are best avoided when following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely go ahead and use it.

10. If you have dhana-jeeru powder at hand, you can use it in place of the coriander seed powder and roasted cumin powder I have added separately here.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Ponk Khichdi| Tender Jowar Khichdi

Ponk or hurda, a winter delicacy

Tender green jowar is a winter speciality in parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Called ‘ponk‘ in Gujarati and ‘hurda‘ in Marathi, the jewel-like immature grains of pearl millet are full of health benefits. The best way to eat them is raw or lightly sauteed, drizzled with some salt, lemon juice and sev – and they do taste absolutely fabulous when fresh and tender. That’s the mainstay of the ‘ponk parties’ that are often held in the fields of Gujarat and Maharashtra, this time of the year.

Tender jowar aka ponk or hurda, a winter speciality

Ponk Bhel and Ponk Vada are a couple of things the grains commonly find their way into in Gujarati households. I have had the pleasure of indulging in these delicacies on visits to Ahmedabad and whenever friends or family members managed to lug back parcels of ponk to Bangalore for me. Recently, though, I was thrilled to see it available at Native’s Basket, a store in HSR Layout, Bangalore, and had to go ahead and order some. This time around, I experimented with making some Ponk Khichdi, which turned out just awesome. The tender jowar was a treat to the tastebuds, and it took the simple khichdi to a whole new level.

Let me share with you all the way I prepared this delicious and nutritious Ponk Khichdi.

Delicious Ponk Khichdi!

How to make Ponk Khichdi

Here is how I went about it.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1. 1/2 cup rice

2. 3/4 cup toor dal

3. 1-1/2 cup ponk

4. 1 medium-sized onion

5. A 1-inch piece of ginger

6. 1 large tomato

7. 3/4 tablespoon oil

8. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

9. 2 pinches of asafoetida

10. Salt to taste

11. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

12. Red chilli powder to taste

13. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or as per taste

14. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder

15. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

16. 2 tablespoons ghee

Method:

Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Below top right: Step 4, Bottom left, centre and right: The cooked ponk, rice and toor dal

1. Wash the rice thoroughly. Drain out all the water. Transfer the washed and drained rice to a wide vessel and add in 1-1/2 cup of fresh water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep the cooked rice aside.

2. Wash the toor dal well, and drain out all the water. Transfer the washed and drained toor dal to a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the toor dal completely. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 6-7 whistles or till the dal is well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally. Mash the cooked toor dal well and keep aside.

3. Wash the ponk well, and drain out all the water from it. Transfer the washed and drained ponk to a wide vessel. Add in about 2 tablespoons of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep the cooked ponk aside. Do not drain out the water it was cooked in.

4. Peel the ginger and onion and chop finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Chop the tomato finely. Keep ready.

Top left and centre: Steps 5 and 6, Top right and bottom left: Step 7, Bottom centre and right: Steps 8 and 9

5. Now, we will start preparing the Ponk Khichdi. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida, and let them stay in for a few seconds.

6. Add in the finely chopped onion and ginger. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the onion is cooked and starts browning.

7. Add in the tomato now, along with a little salt and water. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the tomato turns mushy.

8. At this stage, add in the cooked ponk and the water it was cooked in. Also add in the cooked and mashed toor dal. Continue to keep the flame at medium.

9. Add in salt to taste. Mix well.

Top left and right: Steps 10 and 11, Below top right: Step 12, Bottom right: Step 13, Bottom left: Step 14

10. Add red chilli powder to taste and turmeric powder.

11. Add in the garam masala and jaggery powder.

12. Add in the cooked rice and about 3/4 cup of water to adjust the consistency of the mixture. Mix well.

13. Let everything cook together on medium flame for 4-5 minutes. By this time, the mixture will start thickening. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened but is still on the runnier side – it will thicken up further upon cooling.

14. Mix in the finely chopped coriander and ghee. Your Ponk Khichdi is ready. Serve hot with raita, curd or pickle.

Tips & Tricks

1. Make sure the toor dal is well cooked before adding it to the pan.

2. You can also stir-fry the ponk instead of pressure-cooking it. I prefer the latter.

3. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the khichdi you require.

4. You may even add some vegetables to the khichdi – carrots, beans, green peas and the like. I decided to keep it simple, so did not add any.

5. Adjust the quantity of garam masala as per personal taste preferences. I have used home-made garam masala here.

6. Remember to stop cooking the khichdi when it is still runny. It thickens up further upon cooling.

7. You may make this khichdi without the rice. Personally, though, I think the rice gives some body and texture to the khichdi.

8. This is a completely vegetarian recipe, but not vegan (plant-based) because of the use of ghee. If you want to make this dish vegan, skip the ghee.

9. If you plan to make a gluten-free version of the khichdi, skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, and are therefore best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely use it.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Vegetable Khichdi| Mixed Vegetable Toor Dal Khichdi

Vegetable Khichdi is a very flavourful rice dish, one that is supremely comforting and satisfying. It is just the perfect thing for the chilly winter days we are having right now. It is not very difficult to put together, and makes for an excellent choice for lunch or dinner.

In today’s post, I am going to share with you all the way I make Vegetable Khichdi at home.

Vegetable Khichdi or Mixed Vegetable Toor Dal Khichdi

What goes into my Vegetable Khichdi or Mixed Vegetable Toor Dal Khichdi

Rice, toor dal and vegetables are the major components of this khichdi. I prefer using Sona Masoori or Basmati rice in this dish, but other varieties can be used too. I use vegetables like tomato, onion, beans, carrot, capsicum and green peas.

A mix of garam masala and chana masala add flavour to this khichdi, as does the jaggery, lemon juice and kasoori methi I add to it. I use home-made garam masala and chana masala.

The khichdi is tempered at the very end, with crushed garlic added to the regular suspects like mustard, cumin and asafoetida. The fried garlic takes the flavour (and fragrance) quotient of the khichdi high, high up!

Other khichdi recipes on the blog

I absolutely love such delicious khichdi, and have several recipes on my blog already. You guys should check out this Moong Dal Khichdi With Kale, this Gujarati Vaghareli Khichdi, and this Broccoli & Baby Corn Khichdi. If you have any khichdi left over, you must definitely try out this delicious Buttermilk Khichdi!

On that note, my fellow food blogger Sujata Ji’s Bengali Sabur Khichdi sounds super interesting – can’t wait to try it out!

How to make Vegetable Khichdi or Mixed Vegetable Toor Dal Khichdi

Here’s how I make the khichdi.

Do not get intimidated by the seemingly long list of ingredients or the lengthy proceedure. The steps are fairly easy to follow, I assure you.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1. 3/4 cup rice

2. 1/4 cup toor dal

3. 1 medium-sized onion

4. 2 green chillies

5. A 1-inch piece of ginger

6. 7-8 beans

7. 1 medium-sized carrot

8. A big handful of green peas

9. 1 small capsicum

10. 1 medium-sized tomato

11. 5-6 cloves of garlic

12. 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon oil

13. Salt to taste

14. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

15. Red chilli powder to taste

16. 1/4 teaspoon garam masala

17. 1/2 teaspoon chana masala

18. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder

19. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

20. 3/4 tablespoon kasoori methi

21. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

22. 1 tablespoon ghee

23. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

24. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

25. 2 pinches of asafoetida

26. 2 dry red chillies

Method:

Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 4, 5 and 6

1. Wash the rice thoroughly under running water. Drain out all the water. Take the washed and drained rice in a wide vessel and add in 2-1/2 cups of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Allow 4 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. Similarly, wash the toor dal thoroughly. Drain out the water and place in a wide vessel. Add in just enough water to cover the toor dal fully. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Allow 6-7 whistles on high flame for the toor dal to cook well. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Peel the onion and chop finely. Peel the ginger and chop finely too. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.

4. Next, prep the vegetables that will go into the khichdi. Peel the carrot and chop into small cubes. Remove strings from the beans and chop finely. Get the green peas ready. Remove the core and seeds from the capsicum, and chop finely. Take the carrot, beans, green peas and capsicum in a wide vessel. Add in about 2 tablespoons of water and place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Allow 2 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

5. Chop the tomato finely. Keep aside.

6. Peel the garlic cloves. Crush them roughly, using a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.

Top left and centre: Step 7, Top right: Step 8, Bottom left and centre: Step 9, Bottom right: Step 10

7. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked rice, toor dal and vegetables out. Mash the cooked toor dal roughly and keep aside.

8. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped onion. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the onion starts browning.

9. At this stage, add the chopped tomato to the pan, along with the finely chopped ginger, slit green chillies, a bit of salt and a little water. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the tomatoes turn mushy.

10. Add in the cooked vegetables, along with the water they were cooked in. Continue to keep the flame at medium.

Top left and right: Step 11, Below top right: Step 12, Bottom right: Step 13, Bottom left: Step 14

11. Almost immediately, add in the cooked toor dal and rice, along with about 3/4 cup of water to adjust the consistency of the khichdi. Mix well.

12. Add in salt and red chilli powder to taste, as well as the turmeric powder.

13. Add in the garam masala, chana masala and jaggery powder. Mix well.

14. Cook everything on medium flame for about 5 minutes. Stir intermittently. If the mixture gets too thick, you can add in a little more water. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened up, but is still on the runnier side – remember that it will thicken up more on cooling.

Top left and right: Steps 15 and 16, Bottom left and right: Steps 17 and 18

15. Add in the lemon juice.

16. Crush the kasoori methi roughly between the palms of your hands. Add this to the pan.

17. Add in the finely chopped coriander. Mix well.

18. Lastly, prepare the tempering for the khichdi. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and the ghee together in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Now, add in the asafoetida, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and the crushed garlic. Turn the flame down to low-medium. Let the garlic cook and brown, a few seconds. Take care not to let the ingredients burn. When the garlic is cooked, switch off gas and add this tempering to the khichdi in the other pan. Mix well. Your Vegetable Khichdi is ready. Keep the pan covered for 7-10 minutes, then it is ready to serve. Serve it hot with raita of your choice.

Tips & Tricks

1. Vegetables like carrot, green peas, beans and capsicum go best in this khichdi. I prefer sticking to these vegetables only. You can increase the quantity of vegetables too, if you so prefer.

2. Make sure the toor dal is well cooked and soft, before using it in making the Vegetable Khichdi.

3. Adjust the amount of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the Vegetable Khichdi you require.

4. Amchoor powder can be used in place of the lemon juice.

5. I have used Sona Masoori rice here. Basmati rice goes well in this khichdi too.

6. Adjust the amount of chana masala and garam masala as per personal taste preferences.

7. Do not skip the jaggery. It does not make the Vegetable Khichdi overly sweet, but balances the other flavours beautifully.

8. You may skip the onion and garlic if you do not prefer using them. Personally, though, I would highly recommend using the garlic. The fried garlic in the tempering elevates the taste of the Vegetable Khichdi to a whole new level.

9. Make sure the ingredients in the tempering do not burn. At the same time, it is important that the garlic is well cooked and browned – if it stays raw, it will adversely impact the taste of the khichdi.

10. Stop cooking the Vegetable Khichdi when it is still runny. It thickens up quite a bit with time.

11. I have used a mix of oil and ghee in the tempering, here. You may use only oil or ghee instead.

12. I cook the rice, vegetables and toor dal separately because each of these have different cooking times. I’m not happy with the taste and texture of pressure-cooker khichdi where everything is cooked together.

13. The above recipe is completely vegetarian, but not vegan (plant-based) due to the use of ghee. If you plan to prepare a vegan version, skip the ghee and use only oil instead. Personally for me, though, the ghee is a must.

14. If you want to make a gluten-free version of this recipe, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, and are therefore best avoided when following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!