A cold rainy day. The first thing that comes to my mind is a nice bowl of hot deep fried pakodas. But instead, I settle for something healthy, a nice steaming hot bowl of millet khichdi. Khichidi or khichri is a dish which spells comfort. It is equivalent to the chicken soup. This dish in the milder form is eaten when you are sick. Almost every region of India has their own version of khichdi, in the South of India, it is called Pongal. Khichidi means ‘mish-mash’, so it is a mish-mash of rice, lentils, spices, and vegetables. Usually other than the rice and lentils everything else can change. People also make it out of millets. I used foxtail millets, but I am sure you can also other millets or even quinoa.
This is a recipe for masala khichdi and therefore has more spices than the plain one.
1/2 cup foxtail millets (you can substitute rice instead)
1/2 cup moong dal- with skin removed (green gram lentils)
1/2 cup chopped onions (around 3 medium onions)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (around 2 tomatoes
1 – 2 green chillies chopped (depending on the spice you want)
1 inch ginger chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup fenugreek leaves or spinach chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chopped potatoes (1 big potato)
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)
salt to taste
3 1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp ghee (optional)
5-8 cashews (optional)
1 tbsp oil
1 piece cinnamon, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 1 bay leaf
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
a dash of asafoetida
Wash and soak millets and moong dal for 15 minutes.
In a pan or pressure cooker (or Instapot), heat oil. Add ingredients for tempering. when the mustard starts spluttering, add the onion, garlic, ginger and fry till golden brown.
Add potatoes and greens and fry for a few minutes. Then add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the millets and moong dal and mix.
Add water and cover and cook. If using a pressure cooker, pressure cook on a medium flame for 3 – 4 whistles.
Heat ghee in a pan and add the cashew nuts. Pour on to the khichdi and serve hot. This is optional.
You can add some raw peanuts to the millets when cooking too.
Enjoy the steaming hot spicy masala khichdi!