Kichidi is a staple dish eaten frequently in one form or the other in most parts of India. Toddlers are given a plain form of Kichidi in their initial years of growth. Dals/lentils are the main source of protein for vegetarians, especially in India. So it becomes essential to include dals in everyday meal. A combination of dal and veggies becomes even more healthy as it has the rice balance of essential food groups. And in our household, this is the dish that we normally prefer to have during weekends. Fast to cook, easy to digest and a quick meal, it makes for a very good lunch or dinner. The only tedious process would probably be chopping vegetables. But then if you are in a really lazy mood, chopped packed veggies are always available in the market. So, try this dish if you are in a mood to eat something simple and comforting. The dish below is a very basic form of the recipe with minimum spices added. But you can add other spices like bay leaf, elaichi etc. depending on your mood and taste.
To make Kichidi for 2 people approximately, you would require:
Moong dal/ Pesarapappu /mung beans/ split green gram– ½ cup
Rice – 1 cup
Mixed vegetables – chopped – 1 cup
(I have used carrots, peas, capsicum, beans in it. You can add any veggies of your choice like potatoes, paneer etc. to it)
Tomatoes – 2 to 3 medium chopped (optional)
Oil : 3-4 tbsp. for frying
Jeera /Cumin seeds – 1 tsp.
Avalu/Mustard seeds – ½ tsp.
Dry red chillies – 1 or 2 broken
Hing/ asafetida – 1 pinch
Turmeric – a pinch
Onions – 2 medium chopped into quarters
Garlic pods – 6-8
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Ginger garlic paste – spoon
The above three ingredients are optional and the usage depends on your preference.
Green chillies – 3 to 4 or as per requirement
Curry leaves – a handful
Coriander/Dhania powder : 1 tsp.
Cumin/Jeera powder : 1 tsp.
Salt: to taste
Chilli powder: to taste
Coriander leaves – a few sprigs
Spring onions – 2 as per availability.
Chop all the vegetables, onions and chillies and keep aside.
Wash the dal and rice together, immerse in water and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. You can use a slow cooker for this recipe too.
Once the oil gets heated add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies, asafetida, turmeric powder and mix well.
Now add the chopped onions and fry. When they fry a little, add the ginger garlic and allow to fry.
Add the green chillies and mix well.
Add the tomatoes and the chopped vegetables. Allow to fry well for a couple of minutes.
Now add the dhania and jeera powders and mix well.
Drain the water from the rice and dal mix and add it to the chopped vegetables. Allow the whole mixture to fry for a couple of more minutes.
Now add water to the mixture. The amount of water added should be double the quantity of the rice dal mix. In this case, 3 cups of water should suffice.
Add salt to this mixture and allow to come to a boil. You can check seasoning at this stage. The water should be a salty to taste. The rice and veggies will absorb the salt during the cooking process.
Add the red chilli powder. Also you can add half of the coriander leaves.
Close the pressure cooker and allow to cook as you would with regular rice.
Before serving, mix more chopped coriander leaves, chopped spring onions.
Serve hot with pickle and raita.
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