The internet is already flooded with many fancy dishes, various complicated and complex flavoured dishes. Starting from world’s top star chefs to home cooks everybody is trying their hands on global cuisine. of course, with their own twist… But there are few dishes in this world which are famous for their simple and soothing flavours. Being a typical Odia soul, in fact, a typical Hindustani soul, alike any other Hindustani, this dish is something I enjoy when I am bored of complicated flavours.
Before getting into the proper history of this humble dish, I wanna take you to my memories of this khichdi. In every typical 90’s Odia house, there used to be very simple rules. Sundays used to be the nonveg special days… But before I take you to typical veg day and puja celebration day menu I need to tell you guys something which I am really proud of and every Odia veg day meals are the derivatives of that culture.
If you look into the Odia culture we have a background of “Baara Maasa Re Tera Parba”. This means in 12 months we Odias celebrate 13 festivals. Here these 13 festivals have full connection to lord Shree Jagannath, Shree Balabhadra and Maa Subhadra. In a culture of “Chapan Bhog” where there are 56 rich dishes being served to the lord as Bhog to the all mighty every day. This “Khechudi / Khichudi/ Khichdi” is one of that. That particular Khecudi is considered as one of the most comforting Bhog to the lords. Sometimes there are specific festival days which include a special type of Khechudi to the lords. As most of you already know how old is Jagannath culture so you can imagine, how old Mandira Khechudi is.
Coming back to the typical veg days at my home. Since my birth or maybe before that, there are staple vegetarian food days every week. To be specific the Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays were the staple vegetarian days. But apart from that, as I mentioned above about those 13 big festivals, irrespective of days, these 13 and few more festival days used to be puja days or celebration days at home. Mom used to cook “Khichudi/ khichdi” with the very famous “Dalma”, “Bhaja/ stir fry” with seasonal veggies, a “Khata/chutney” with the seasonal raw fruits along with a delicious “Aloo Chakuda/aloo ka Bharta” with papad. And definitely a big spoon full of ghee on my khichdi. I hope You can imagine the sheer pleasure of having such a divine, delicious yet comforting food. I know you guys can connect so well to it.
I don’t like to do an analysis on that Khichudi from my mom’s kitchen. Still, I will try to do that from my small curious brain and my not so big culinary knowledge. Basically the Khechudi is consists of 2 simple ingredients at my home. A good quality rice, good quality whole moong dal/split moong dal (especially the black moong dal). Of course some homemade ghee and few whole spices. And this not so fancy dish goes really well with our one and only “Dalma” and “Khata”. This particular combination can literally complete your culinary urge.
But the version here you will see is the recipe I used to make in my Mumbai n Bangalore days. There I could not get the split moong dal so the only replacement was the typical moong dal(the polished one).
Lets get into the nutritional factors of core ingredients of this dish-
RICE- you can take a better quality rice or any rice at your home apart from the parboiled one will work well. Rice has the essential carbs. which provide energy to the body for day to day life. We always avoid carbs in daily diet just to avoid more calorie intake. But to a certain extent, the carb plays as the energy machine for the body.
MOONG DAL– Moong dal is high in protein, which can contribute to your daily protein requirements. Also, being a good source of carbohydrate it contributes to the daily energy cycle. Being high in antioxidants it prevents ageing of cells. It lower the bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol. Being rich in micronutrients like potassium and magnesium, it works on your improved blood health and blood pressure. Being rich in fibre it improves the digestion process and keep the digestive tract healthy. Moreover, it gives a nice filling sensation with lesser intake so it helps in your weight reduction.
GHEE/CLARIFIED BUTTER– It has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in improved skin health. It is all-natural so it has no bad reaction to the body alike any refined oil. Most of the fitness freak live to enjoy ghee on refined oil.
- 1 cup rice (soaked)
- 3/4th cup Moong dal (lightly dry tossed and then soaked)
- 2tbsp Ghee
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 2 Green cardamom
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2-3 Bashew(lightly fried)
- 1tsp Jeera/Cumin(whole)
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1tsp sugar
- Pinch of Hing
- 1tsp Turmeric Powder
- Fresh crush of 2 Green Chillies and 1 inch of Ginger
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups of water
- ½ cup freshly scraped coconut
- Put a heavy bottom pressure cooker on medium to high flame.
- Put the ghee.
- Put the sugar
- Add all the whole spices(cumin, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, bay leaf)
- Once the cumin splatter put the ginger and green chilly crush. Sauté nicely.
- Once aromatic, put the Hing in stir for 30 seconds.
- Put the coconut and sauté for 1 more minute.
- In goes the cashew, the moong dal and the rice. (strain the dal and rice properly)
- Sauté for 2-3 minutes on low flame.
- Now put the water into it.
- Stir well.
- Put the turmeric powder.
- Adjust the salt and sugar by tasting the water.
- Bring it to boil.
- Close the lid and 2-3 whistles on medium to low flame.
- Keep it closed for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Serve it with Dalma and Khata or if you don’t have time then homemade mango pickle and papad can always go with it. Serve hot with a little bit of ghee on top.