Khichdi – The Magical Food

As kids whenever we felt sick or got a cold we were given Khichdi.  It was like this magical elixir that just made everything better.  A humble dish made from rice and lentils cooked together, it has been slowly creeping into the mainstream as a superfood as it has the perfect balance of elements to calm the body and improve energy, immunity and digestion.  In India they do Khichdi cleanses – eating nothing but Khichdi for 2 to 3 days – as it acts like a sweeper in the gut, clearing out blockages whilst promoting the growth of good bacteria.  Moong beans are also a great source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium and contain all 10 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  For vegetarians (and vegans) like my Mother it is an essential part of her diet.  I use split moong dal so that it cooks quickly.  If you don’t find split dal you can use whole moong beans but be sure to cook it first otherwise it won’t cook properly in this recipe.  The quantities below would feed about 4 people – or in my case I can eat the entire lot in one sitting!

For me I love the comfort factor of this dish, especially when it is cold outside.  Its like a warm comfort blanket making me feel great inside and out.  Try it and let me know what you think! I add vegetables like spinach towards the end of cooking for some extra nutritional benefits but that is totally optional.

This recipe is also vegan friendly (just omit the ghee or butter), vegetarian and gluten free.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)

1 Cup Split Green Moong Daal

0.75 Cup Uncooked Basmati Rice 

5 Cups Water

1 tsp Turmeric

2inch stick of cinnamon 

Butter or Ghee to taste

Salt to taste

  1. Wash the lentils and rice thoroughly – until the water runs clear preferably
  2. Add everything except the ghee to the pan and season with a good pinch of salt
  3. Bring to the pan to a rolling boil on a medium/high heat
  4. Remove any foam that forms on the top, cover and reduce the heat to low
  5. Depending on what consistency you like keep adding boiling water as it dries out – 5 cups as stated above will make it wet but not runny, if you want it more runny then add a bit more water
  6. Overall it should take 20 to 30 minutes to be cooked through – check the seasoning as you go along and add salt as desired
  7. If using, add baby spinach leaves in the last few minutes of cooking and let them wilt into the Khichdi
  8. Once cooked, remove from the heat and stir through a little ghee (you can also use butter which I prefer from a taste perspective)

 

Khichdi freezes really well so I tend to make a big batch and then freeze – when you are ready to eat just let it defrost a little, add some boiling water and heat gently in a pan until warmed through.  Delicious!

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