Try Khichari if you prefer something light, nutritious and easy to prepare. Ayurveda, from India, is one of the oldest medical practices in the world, prescribes Khichari to correct imbalances and also to cleanse the body.
Khichdi or Khichari, pronounced KITCH-A-REE, is a staple dish throughout India. It takes 30 minutes of cooking time from start to finish to prepare a well-balanced, healthy and nutritious meal.
Khichdi can be prepared in a variety of ways. You can cook it in its simplest form or prepare it with various Indian flavors. The main ingredients are lentils, rice and water. Once you know how to prepare the dish you can add or remove condiments to your liking.
To help revive energy and balance the digestive system, this dish is usually prepared in its simplest form of boiled lentils, rice, water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Ayurveda recommends using spices mildly to balance the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in our body. Any Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner will explain the significance and wonders of Khichdi.
Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and utensils for cooking. Please follow the steps below.
– A pressure cooker, an instant pot or a hollow pot.
– Rice: preferably Basmati
– Daal: referred to as lentils. You can choose either a green Mung daal (also spelled as Moong dal). You can also use a combination of yellow toor and red masoor daal.
– Water: the amount of water will determine the consistency of how thick or thin you prefer the Khichdi. A thin/soupy Khichdi is recommended for those who are not well or are observing a diet.
– Ghee: use ghee, purified butter, or a cooking oil of your choice. Some use mustard oil that has a specific aroma and is very healthy, or use avocado oil.
- Turmeric powder (very good to have)
- Red chilli powder (optional)
- Cumin seeds (optional)
- Mustard seeds (optional)
- Onions (optional, You can saute the onions with the spices. Or chop them up, soak them in lemon juice and salt to have as a side salad)
- Tomatoes (optional, You can saute the tomatoes with the spices. Or chop them up, soak them in lemon juice and salt to have as a side salad)
- Cilantro (optional, to garnish)
Ingredients for 2-3 people:
1/2 cup Lentils of your choice. Wash thoroughly and set aside.
1/2 cup rice. Wash thoroughly and set aside.
1/2 spoon (tsp) cumin
1/2 spoon (tsp) mustard seeds
1/2 spoon (tsp) turmeric powder
1/3 spoon (tsp) red chilli powder
2/3 spoon salt (tsp) (more or less to taste)
1/4 spoon (tsp) black pepper (more or less to taste)
4-5 cups of water (the amount of water depends on how thick or thin you prefer your Khichdi).
How to prepare Khichdi:
Though I used an instant pot to prepare the Khichdi, a regular pressure cooker or regular pot will give the same results.
- Turn on the Instant pot and start with the Saute setting.
2. Add the ghee in the pot and let it heat for approx. 1-2 minutes
3. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. You will know they are cooked once you hear them pop.
4. Add water
5. Add the washed lentils and rice into the pot.
6. Add the rest of the spices; turmeric, red chilli, salt and pepper.
7. Stir all ingredients gently.
8. If you are using Instant pot to cook, change setting to “Pressure Cook”.
9. Set the pressure cooker timer to 15-20 minutes (25-30 minutes for everything to boil in a regular pot).
10. Let the pressure out after the time is up. In a regular pressure cooker, there may be 4-5 whistles before the Khichdi is ready.
Serve Khichdi with your preference of aachar (mango, lemon or chilli pickles), yogurt, a dab of ghee or butter, and/or fresh vegetables soaked in lemon juice! Enjoy!