We all have heard about Khichdi, it is an ancient ayurvedic dish which has been part of our diet from ages. The term Khichdi is derived from Sanskrit word khicha which means a dish of rice and legumes. When someone falls ill in our family or is recovering from an illness, we prefer to serve them Khichdi as it is very light and easy to digest food. Doctors too acknowledge and recommend this dish to patients. The other common name of Khichdi is Khichri. It is considered as a nourishing, light, simple and easy to digest meal without any spices.
Khichdi is also good for body cleansing. If you are continuously attending the ongoing wedding season and eating all those spicy, junk and oily food, so cleanse your body with a bowl of khichdi. Our body bears a lot when we eat all those craps, but this food helps the body to cleanse and flush out all the toxins. Yes it is true, that a lot of people make faces when it comes to khichdi and are reluctant to eat it by dumping their favorite fast food. But on the other hand, it is greatly liked by people who pursue a Saatvik diet of Ayurveda.
If we go into the history of this dish, it went through various modifications during the Mughal rule. The basic method to cook this dish is by using dal (lentils), rice and pure ghee, which can be complemented by yogurt, pickles, vegetables and parsley or mint sauce. But during the Mughal Empire, they supplemented Khichdi by adding nuts, strong spices and dry fruit which gave it rich taste. During Akbar’s rule, the royal cuisine made and distributed Khichri every day and was very popular with the Mughals especially Jahagir. Khichdi recipe Ain-I-Akbar, in 16th century written by Mughal Emperor Akbar and seven variations was given to this recipe of Khichdi. Infact there is an anecdotal story featuring Akbar Birbal and the “khichdi”.
Many explorers and travelers who visited India mention the dish in their own way, the Greek ambassador of Seleucus mentioned that rice and pulses are very popular among people of South Asia. The Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta, mentioned khichri as a dish in India composed of rice and mung beans (dal). On the other hand a Russian adventurer, described in the writings of Afanasiy Nikitin who travelled to South Asia in the 15th or 16th century, declared that the Mughal ruler Jahangir promoted this dish. Alamgiri Khichri was developed for Aurangzeb.
Not only in India but Khichdi also proliferated outside India to the UK during Queen Victoria’s regime when the recipe of Khichdi was customized to conform Anglo-Indian style. By adding fish and eggs to the existing ingredients and was called Kedgeree and become famous during British rule as a breakfast food.
Health Benefits of Khichdi
You already read how this dish is beneficial for our health and body. Let us go through more of its health benefits.
The Whole Meal: Khichdi is a balance of proteins, fibers, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and carbohydrates. The combination of rice, lentils and ghee provides all. Adding vegetables enhance nutritional value of it. It also comprises of 10 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein diet.
Gluten Free: Khichdi is a gluten free dish, so people who suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease have a problem in the processing of this gluten which in storage protein found in grains like wheat, rice, and barley, can opt for Khichdi. The dish is light and full of nutrients and can consume on alternate days.
Easy to Digest: Khichdi is a light food and is easy to digest. It soothes the stomach and intestine, it is best food to cleanse your body and flush out all the toxins present. Khichdi with curd or ghee give relief to you when you are sick and is very helpful in adjusting upset stomach. When an infant starts eating, khichdi is one of the foods suggested by all.
Balance Dosha: Khichdi is an Ayurvedic food diet. It balances all the three dosha: Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. This tridoshic food not only calms and detoxifies the body but also balance the basic elements required by our body. The dish also improves energy, immunity, upset stomach and digestion.
The food is called by different names in different part of the country and method also changes as per the taste. There are various method to make this healthy and simple dish which consists of moong daal khichdi, vegetable khichdi, bajra khichdi, Bengali khichdi, Sindhi style khichdi, sabudana khichdi and buckwheat khichdi. Add on like cumin seeds, ghee make the dish more healthy.
Recipe Moong Daal Khichdi: Moong Daal Khichdi is the basic form and style of preparing this dish.
What you need?
- ½ cup rice
- ½ moong daal/ split and dehusked green gram
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ to teaspoon cumin seed (jeera)
- 1 to 2 tablespoon ghee or oil (prefer ghee for real flavor)
- Salt to taste
- Wash dal and rice for a couple of time in water.
- Now heat ghee in pressure cooker . Add cumin seeds and bring it to crackle.
- Remember cumin seeds burns easily so be careful.
- Add turmeric powder into the cooker.
- Now add rice and moong dal, sauté for a minute. Then add 4 to 5 cups of water with salt.
- Stir and cook it in pressure cooker for 5-6 whistles till both rice and moong daal reached to a mashable consistency like a porridge.
- Bring the cooker down and wait till it get settle. Open lid to check khichdi.
- Check the consistency of the khichdi, if it is thick add water to get the consistency of your choice.
- The consistency is adjustable as per your choice. Now serve it in a bowl or plate.
- You can serve it with yogurt, curd, pickle, papad or mint and parsley sauce(chutney).
- To make it a rich add 1or 2 tablespoon of ghee while you serve.