Moraiya Kitchari is a delightful dish, healthy and nourishing. It is regularly made for Navratri fasting, Ekadashi fasting or any other time of Hindu fasting as it is an easily digestible dish. It is delicious in its own right – lightly spiced and less vigorous of taste than many Indian dishes, but don’t put it aside because of that. Try it with a wet curry like a yoghurt or besan curry, even a Poritha Kuzhambu! You will enjoy.
Moraiya is composed of tiny, white, round grains. In India, cereal grains are not consumed during fasts. Hence, Moraiya is a popular alternative, especially during Navratri. It is often used in place of rice, although it does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. It is quite sticky when it is cooked and the grains stick together somewhat.
You might like to check to see whether we have posted other Moraiya recipes. You can browse all of our other Kitchari recipes here. Our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes here.
Moraiya is also known in various Indian languages as sama, moraiyo, mordhan, vari, varai, samak, samvat, vrat ke chawal, kuthiravali in Tamil, oodalu in Kannada, odalu in Telugu, jhangora in Hindi and kavadapullu in Malayalam and Barnyard millet. A grain with many names.
Moraiya Kitchari | Barnyard Millet Kitdchari | Sama ki khichdi
0.5 cup moraiyo / barnyard millet
2 Tblspn ghee
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
2 Tblspn unsalted peanuts
1 green chilli, chopped finely
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
Sea salt or sendha namak (Himalayan Pink Salt)
1 cup water
0.5 Tblspn lime or lemon juice
chopped green coriander leaves for garnish
Wash the moraiyo well and soak in fresh water for 10 minutes. Drain.
Heat 1 Tblspn of the ghee in a kadhai or saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and saute for a moment or two. Add the peanuts and stir until they begin to colour.
Now, add the chopped green chili and saute with the peanuts and cumin for few more seconds.
Add the potato and salt, and stir over the heat for a minute or two. Don’t allow it to stick to the pan.
Add the drained millet, and stir over the heat. Add the water and bring it back to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover the pan and allow it to cook slowly. It will be perfectly cooked in 15 – 17 mins.
Fluff up the moraiya with a fork, adding the remaining ghee and the lemon or lime juice. Cover with the lid again and allow to sit for 3 minutes.
Stir through the chopped coriander leaves and serve.
This recipe cooks the moyaiya with separate grains. If you prefer to have a stodgier kitchari, add more water and allow it to cook a little longer. You can also add water to make it more liquid (soup-like) if that is your preference.