I have been puzzled for long about why khichdi is considered a sick man's food. This is my comfort food and my comfortable zone in the khichri land is when khichri is just about to turn into a soup.
The only problem in my adult life has been my husband's strict aversion to this wonderful food. Now he is a convert thankfully and I am so happy and relieved to see him asking for second helpings. He was initiated into the land of khichri by first introducing new types of tahiri, then the tahiri started including some bean sprouts and even daals.
So the tahiri became a bhuni khichri and then gradually he has started appreciating a good khichri, so much so that this multi grain khichri with a few coarse grains became a favorite with him. Now you know how to convert a khichri hater into a khichri lover....
This soupy version of khichdi has been my favorite since childhood and even during the sick days the soupy mung khichdi with nimbu ka achar (lemon pickled with salt) used to be the only respite from the smelly tonics and tablets. I remember clearly how I did not like the bourbon biscuit and preferred khichdi to revive my taste buds during sickness.
A hot clear chicken soup comes a close second for the purpose but during those days I was a staunch vegetarian.
Recently both of us were not well and a khichri was an easy and convenient option to cook.
Why it is so sensible to call it a sick man's food i understand now.
The husband even requested for this khichri and when I showed him the ingredients he was surprised to know how the coarse grains can be so yummy. The trick to make a good khichri with unconventional grains is in choosing the right daal for the specific mix of the grains.
The seasonings should depend upon the season the mood and the kind of sickness if you choose to have khichri for that purpose. Accompaniments of the khichri can be as frugal as a salt pickled lemon or an array of bhartas, raitas, pickles, papads and ghee.
This khichri and the sides are healthy and hearty, truly a soul food.
brown rice 1 tbsp
pearl barley 1.5 tbsp
white basmati rice 1 tbsp
red lentils 1 tbsp
mung daal 1.5 tbsp
chana daal ( split chickpeas ) 1tbsp
garlic chopped 1 tbsp
red chill powder 1 tsp
cumin powder 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
asafoetida a pinch
salt to taste
ghee 1 tbsp
whole cumin seeds 2 tsp
Mix all the grains and the lentils, add a liter of water, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Cook in a pressure cooker for 3 minutes after the first whistle. Or cook in a stock pot for about 45 minutes skimming the frothy scum. Adjust the amount of water after cooking according to the required consistency. I add a bit more water to make it thinner....
Heat the ghee in a pan and throw in the asafoetida, cumin seeds and chopped garlic. Wait till the garlic becomes pink, take the pan off heat and add the cumin powder and the red chilly powder. Let he powders sizzle for a second and then pour the ghee and the tempering into the khichdi. Mix well and cover immediately to improve the flavor further.
Serve hot with the choice of sides. I served it with baingan-tamatar ka chokha and kheera pyaz boondi ka raita ......
recipe of baingan tamatar ka bharta .......
Roast a medium sized egg plant over gas flame till the skin is charred and the flesh is cooked. Similarly two tomatoes are roasted over gas flame. The charred skins were peeled off from the eggplant and the tomatoes and the flesh was mashed. To this add generous amounts of finely chopped ginger garlic green chilies and some onions, a dash of mustard oil and salt to taste and mix to serve warm or cold.
recipe of kheera pyaz boondi ka raita .....
finely chop (do not grate) cucumber and onions and mix together with thick fresh curds. Sprinkle some roasted cumin and asafoetida powder, salt and pepper, some boondi and mix together to serve cold
One thing is missing from the pictures and that is the papad. We had papad with the meal and it was roasted in the microwave instantly, I clicked the pictures while roasting the papads actually.
A complete meal, multigrain khichdi is healthy and oh so delicious.