Khichdi has got to be one of the most common Indian dishes. Interestingly though, I am yet to find it in any restaurant or, even known to people outside the sub-continent. There are written records from Greek conquests of India from 300BCE that mention Khichdi (well, not by name, but at least in principle) as one of the staple foods. That should give you an insight into how much this dish is woven into the fabric of the sub-continental culture.
Fundamentally, Khichdi is a runny dish made with rice, lentils, and some spices put together in a pressure cooker. It isn't a very complex dish to master or even digest. It is also the reason it is usually consumed when people have an upset stomach. Typically, Khichdi is made with Mung beans and rice. The version of Khichdi this blog post is about - Kulth Khichdi - is more akin to Pilaf/Pulao in its consistency. It's not runny at all, and quite firm. Top this dish with some extra Ghee when it's ready and you get a different flavour profile altogether, which is simply out of this world. If you are after other pairing ideas, then look no further than this Hindi metaphor - "Khichdi ke chaar yaar - dahi, papad, ghee aur achar" which translates to "Khichdi's four mates - Curd, Papadoms, Ghee and Pickle".
Before I walk you through the ingredients and steps, here are some relevant metrics for the recipe
Difficulty - Easy.
Prep time - 10 mins
Cooking time - around 30 minutes.
Servings - around 6.
Rice - 2 cups.
Kulth/Horse gram - 3/4th cup, washed and soaked overnight.
Water - 3 cups.
Ginger - 1.5" knob, finely grated
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Red Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Add the salt, grated ginger, horse gram and the 3 cups of water to a pressure cooker. Set the flame to high and wait for the whistle. Once the pressure cooker has released its pressure, lower the flame and wait for 10 mins before turning it off.
While you wait for the pressure cooker to cool down so it can be opened up, wash the rice.
Once the pressure cooker can be opened up, empty the contents including the water into a separate container. We will re-use this water later on, so do not discard it.
At this point, you can either use a second pressure cooker or clean the one in use. We will be putting the pressure cooker back on the stove on high heat.
Add the Ghee to the pressure cooker and allow it to melt; it should not take very long.
Add cumin seeds, red chilli powder, Garam Masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder, rice and the horse gram (but not the water) from step 3 to the pressure cooker and give everything a nice mix. Everything should be coated with Ghee now.
Once the Ghee has coated everything, we add the water from step 3 into the pressure cooker. Some of the water would have evaporated or soaked up, so top it up and ensure 3 full cups of water are added to the pressure cooker.
Seal the pressure cooker and leave it on high flame until the whistle blows.
The moment the whistle blows and the pressure is released, turn off the heat.
That's it; your Kulth Khichdi is ready. Bon appetite. As always, I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments down below. See you in the next one.