Khichadi (pronounced Khi-cha-ri)
- 1/2 cup moong dal beans soaked in 1 and 1/2 cups of water overnight
- 1/2 cup basmati or brown rice If using brown rice, soak it in 1 cup of water for 4 to 5 hours
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed
- 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/8 tsp gluten free asafoetida powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 inch ginger grated or finely chopped
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2 tsp ghee
- 3 cups of water
- juice of 1 lemon
Rinse the moong dal after it is done soaking and combine with the rice (if using soaked brown rice, drain and rinse before combining). Place this on the side. Heat a stainless steel or cast iron soup pot and melt the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about a minute. When they start to get darker in color, add the turmeric and asafoetida and stir. Add ginger and onlon and heat till the onion becomes translucent. Then add the rice and moong dal mixture and cover with 3 cups of water and salt. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat to medium low and let it simmer for approximately 40 min or till mushy. Add lemon juice and serve.
Another option for cooking Khichadi is to make the above in a pressure cooker. After adding the water, cook it for 8 to 9 minutes once pressure valve pops up.
Khichadi is served traditionally with plain yogurt and lemon pickle as this adds probiotic and prebiotic qualities to this very complete and balanced dish.
If you want to add other vegetables such as chopped carrots, peas or tomatoes, the time to add these is when the onions are translucent. stir for a few minutes to incorporate the flavors, then add the rice/moong dal mixture with water.
** For a slightly spicier and flavorful treat, fry 10 curry leaves with the onion before adding the rice/moong dal mixture.
Khichadi is a dish popularized by Ayurvedic practitioners in the West but is a staple in India for anyone who is sick. It is common for this dish to be the first solid food that is fed to babies (without the spices) as it is easy to digest and balances all three doshas in the body when made with moong dal. Moong dal is packed with plant protein, a detoxifier in addition to being a dosha balancer, and is considered one of the most nutritious lentils in India. When it is soaked, if it sprouts a little, it vitality increases which increases your body’s vital energy.
Picture credit to The Minamalist Vegan