Khichdi, as I explained in my post here , is a dish made out of rice and lentils that is simple, satisfying and wholesome. I find this the perfect comfort food and a great life saver for days when all I want is something familiar and simple and have no patience to try something exotic or different. Last week when I returned home in a rush and was thinking about dinner ideas, all I could think of was to make some khichdi. But since the basic khichdi lacks vegetables, my conscience would not permit me to make just that and be done. So I thought of trying to make a khichdi with some vegetables in them.
Since time was short I could not turn to my most trusted source for new recipes....the internet, so I just made this dish up as I went. I cooked the rice and lentils in a rice cooker with the bay leaves tossed into it so that their flavor could get absorbed by the rice and lentils. I then used cumin seeds, asafoetida and a little chilli powder to impart more flavor to this dish.I kept the flavors in this rice dish minimalistic,since I wanted something on the simpler side as far as flavors go, so this is one rice dish that will work well with spicy curries too. I enjoyed this version of khichdi so much, I know I will be making this far more frequently than the other plain version. Try this when you are looking for simple and comforting one pot dishes and a change from the usual pulao's and biryani's :-)
Ingredients and Method to make Mixed vegetable khichdi
1 1/4 cup brown basmati rice
3/4 cup whole red lentils (masoor dhal)
3 small bay leaves
1 1/2 medium sized yellow onion (cut fine)
1 1/2 cups of mixed vegetables (cut into 1/2 inch pieces) ( I used a combination of cauliflower, carrots and peas)
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
chilli powder according to taste
handful of cilantro washed and cut fine
Mix brown basmati and whole red lentils in a large bowl and mix together.
Add water to it, swirl a couple of times and drain the water. Repeat once.
Place the rice and lentils in a large pan with the bay leaves and sufficient water to cook the rice and lentils and simmer on medium heat until the rice and lentils are cooked and not mushy.
(Or place the rice, lentils and bay leaves with water in the rice cooker and cook until done. This is what I did and it turned out perfectly)
Remove the bay leaves and discard.Keep the cooked rice and lentils aside.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and add cumin seeds to it. When the seeds start crackling, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and quickly saute for a second.
Add cut onions and saute until the onions turn transparent.
Add vegetables and sprinkle a little water, a pinch of salt and cook until the vegetables are soft but not mushy.
Add the cooked rice and lentils to it, add chilli powder, salt to taste and mix well. Let it heat on low all the way through for a few minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with raita and papad.
Serves approximately 3-4
The ghee and the bay leaf mainly lend flavor to this dish so these two items are vital to this dish and the dish will not taste the same if they are not used.
If you want to spice up this khichdi you could cut 3 to 4 green chillies (small Indian or thai variety) or according to taste and add it immediately after you add the cumin seeds to the ghee, saute for a minute and proceed with the rest of the recipe
You can use white basmati rice instead of brown basmati and if you use white basmati rice you can reduce the bay leaves to 2 small ones instead of 3
I have updated this picture from a different time I made it and everything else except the vegetables were different in this attempt.
This khichdi is off to FIC- Yellow being hosted by Sunshinemom
This khichdi is also off to the Harvest-The festival of Rice event being hosted by Sudeshna