This is an aromatic and warming khichadi, beautiful in its spicing. In Gujarati meals, khichari is served at the end of a meal. In other parts of India, like Bengal, it is often the centre-piece of the meal. This recipe is adapted from one in My Bombay Kitchen’s kitchari – it is the author’s mother’s recipe, so it has strong Gujarati influences.
Traditionally, North India uses long grain rices like basmati for kitchari. The kitchari is light with separate rice grains. As you move south, short grained rices are used, like sona masoori, and the kitchari becomes denser with a buttery texture.
Serve this one with yoghurt curry and pickles – eggplant pickles, perhaps.
Similar recipes include Buttery Steamed Kitchari.
An Aromatic Gujarati Khichari
1 cup basmati or other long grain rice
1/2 cup mung dal or red lentils (masoor dal)
1 Tblspn Ghee
2.5 cm stick cinnamon
3 whole cloves
3 black peppercorns
1 tspn cumin seed
2 cardamom pods
3 green chillies, split lengthwise to the stem, but still intact
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
3/4 tspn salt or to taste
1/2 – 1 tspn ground turmeric
Rinse the rice and dal in several changes of water until the water runs clear.
Heat the ghee in the bottom of a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Toss sin the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom and chillies. Let them sizzle for a minute or so. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown.
Add the rice, lentils, salt, turmeric, and enough water to come up to your first joint on your index finger when resting that finger on the rice and dal (an old trick for measuring water quantities for rice).
Bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover the pan tightly and cook for 20 – 25 minutes. Turn the heat off without lifting the lid and let it sit for another 10 minutes before fluffing it up gently with a fork.
Note that there are many English alternate spellings of Kitchadi — khichdi, kitchari, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, kitcheree, kitcheri, kitchree, khichdi, and many other variants, and each Indian language has it’s own variation e.g. Hindi खिचड़ी khicṛī, Urdu: کھچڑی khicṛī, Oriya: ଖେଚେଡ଼ି khecheṛi, Bengali: খিচুড়ী khichuṛi, Gujarati: ખીચડી khichḍi. It is also known as Pongal in Sth India.