Khichdi is a staple part of the Indian diet. While growing up, winters in India would never be complete without my mom’s ritualistic Saturday afternoon khichdi. That was her way of getting us to eat all the vegetables she possibly could (cauliflower, peas, carrots and the list goes on).
Although, now I’ve started making a simpler version, yet having the vegetables on the side for a wholesome flavorful crunch. I’ve also replaced white rice with brown rice, This adds a more robust texture and is a healthier alternative without compromising on the flavor.
You can de-seed the chilies or skip them altogether if you don’t like things too hot.
For the Khichdi:
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup toor dal or split yellow pigeon peas
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1 inch chopped ginger
- 2 green chilies chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- a pinch of hing (optional)
- salt to taste
- 2.5 cups of water
For the sauteed cauliflower and potato:
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 15-20 1/2 inch cauliflower florets
- 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1 dried red chili or 1 green chili
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp mustard oil (or any other cooking oil)
- salt to taste
For the Khichdi :
- Wash and soak the rice and dal ideally for 30 mins. I’m never this organized so I usually soak it while I start on the rest of the steps including preparation for the cauliflower and potato so about 15 mins.
- In a flat bottom pan or pressure cooker (preferred) add 2 tbsp ghee once it is heated up on a medium flame.
- Add cumin seeds, let it splutter.
- Add hing (Asafoetida), green chilies and ginger. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the onion and fry till translucent about 3-4 mins.
- Add the tomato, salt and turmeric. Saute until the tomato softens. This will take 2-3 mins.
- Add the rice and dal, mix it all together and fry for another minute.
- Now add 2.5 cups of water and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
- Turn off the heat and let the pressure release on it’s own.
- If you feel the consistency is too thin or it needs some more cooking, put it back on the heat without closing the lid.
- Add chopped cilantro (coriander leaves).
For the sauteed potato and cauliflower:
- Peel and cut potato into thin wedges and cauliflower into 1/2 inch florets. Wash them both together.
- In a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom or non-stick pan heat about 1 tbsp oil on medium high heat. I used mustard oil.
- Once it’s really hot add the fenugreek/methi seeds and let them brown but not burnt so about 30 secs.
- Add the dried red chili and fry for about 15 secs.
- Add the turmeric and mix it in the oil.
- Add the cauliflower and potatoes. Fry till they become opaque and you see some golden brown edges.
- Add salt and cook till the vegetables are cooked through. Do NOT cover. The longer you cook the crispier they will get so stop as per your liking. Make sure you’re not burning them. You can taste it as you cook to know how crunchy you like it or to adjust the seasoning.
Serve them hot with some green chutney, pickle or yoghurt.