Sweet Khichdi / khichdi/Khichuri/Khechudi are some of the names by which this one pot meal is known which have unified the nation as a whole. Rice is literally the lifeline of many Indian households without which the meal seems incomplete.From north to south, east to west, Sweet Khichdi / khichdi is still the most comfort food when one feels a little low on health or just dealing with stress and the blues.
Bengal has it’s own version of khichuri, so does Hyderabad with it’s Khichri and keema, and not to forget the unusual Bajre ki Khichdi of Rajastan to Chana daal Khichdi of the north. Each region has it’s own style of cooking this humble dish. You can substitute yelow moong dal with arhar/toor dal, masoor daal and see how your dish transform itself. Serve with a dollop of ghee to enhance the flavor of the dish.
This humble Sweet Khichdi / khichdi might have recently been nominated as India’s national dish,but it always held it’s place among the heart of Indian people for a long time as far as comfort food is concerned. You can enjoy it with lentils of your choice or eat it with vegetables. Khichdi can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This is served piping hot with a tempering of cumin seeds, dried red chili, bay leaf, ginger and some fragrant dry spices . Since khichdi combines moong dal with plain rice and is lightly coloured with turmeric and is supposed to be bland for which Khichdi is usually paired with it’s char yaar (Four friends) like dahi(curd), paapad(fried ), ghee(clarified butter)and achaar(pickle).
Khichdi literally translates to rice and lentils cooked together to a mish mash. The more familiar khichdi is the salty/spicy version but the Malabar version of the khichdi is a sweet one. It is flavored with coconut milk, ghee and sugar. A tempering of shallots is used but I have omitted it from my recipe. The authentic Malabari Khichdi is made with this special rice called “kaima rice” which is a short grain mildly flavored rice better known as the biriyani rice of Kerala. Since I didnot have it, I have used the normal long grain basmati rice.
Ingredients for Malabari Sweet Khichdi:
- 1/2 cup Kaima rice or Jeerakashala rice(You can make it using sona masuri rice or basmati rice).
- 1/2 cup yellow moong daal
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 green cardamom
- 3 black pepper
- 3 cloves
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
- a pinch of asafoetida
- salt as required
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Wash rice in running water and then soak in water for about 20-25 minutes. Next, wash the moong dal in running water and keep it aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker . Then, add cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and cloves and wait till you feel a sweet fragrance from the whole spices. Now add the grated ginger and saute for a minute .
- Now add the washed rice, moong daal and saute for about 2 minutes, and then add the salt, sugar, grated coconut and one cup of water and one cup of coconut milk to it and stir to mix well all the ingredients. Now pressure cook on high heat for one whistle to come. Switch off the flame and let the pressure release naturally.
- After cooling, heat a small pan with 1 tbsp of ghee and mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and the asafoetida. Once they start to crackle, pour over the khichdi and mix well.
- Serve hot with some Kerala Prawn pickle or any pickle of your choice.