Curled up with a heat bowl of rice with lentils seasoned with spices encapsulates the essence of India’s most beloved dish — khichdi. Although the pages of the nation’s culinary historical past have been splattered with variations of the dish, they bear traces of emotions of nostalgia and luxury that the dish evokes as quickly as the primary spoon coats your palate.
Khichdi boasts of being one of many oldest dishes to be cooked within the nation, as historical past says even French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier remarked on his journeys to India within the 1600s that this ‘peasant’s night meal’ ready with inexperienced lentils, rice and ghee was quite common within the subcontinent.
The title of the dish itself stems from the Sanskrit phrase ‘khiccha’, which interprets to a dish ready with rice and legumes.
What’s fascinating is that this meal has nonetheless managed to retain a primary spot on the dinner tables of at this time.
Cooks over the world and in India too nonetheless hint their steps again to the dish when doubtful, as it’s a dish that may by no means exit of fashion.
Two such meals consultants, Ratika Bhargava and Riccha Khetan from Jaipur, who’re the brains behind CauldronSisterss — a culinary enterprise that helps budding restaurant house owners arrange their house, curate menus, catering, and many others — have provide you with a e book that’s devoted to the common-or-garden khichdi and its many variants which can be plentiful in India.
Whereas they began the enterprise CauldronSisterss in 2015 as a means of sharing their data of meals with a bigger viewers, the thought was at all times to dare to do one thing totally different.
Discovering India’s khichdi and its magic
Elaborating on this, Ratika says, “We ventured into jar truffles, saboo dana salad, peri peri popcorns, peanut fudge as a substitute of the same old til gud chikki.” She provides that additionally they held a bread-making course in Jaipur and taught 250 folks the way to grasp the artwork.
“There’s a easy thought behind the enterprise and all the things we do — cooking isn’t rocket science. Everybody can do it.”
Nonetheless, regardless of having a profitable culinary enterprise, the sisters had by no means considered developing with a e book, as they felt recipes had been obtainable on-line. However when Ratika’s guruji from faculty as soon as urged that extra folks would profit from realizing about khichdi in all its glory, she thought it was a good suggestion to pen their recipes, and ideas on the dish.
And thus, the sister duo got here up with their e book Khichdi: Easy, Soulful & Soothing in 2021.
As Riccha says, “Individuals consider khichdi as beemaro ka khaana (meals for the sick), however in our household, it was a really common dish.” She goes on so as to add that whereas many Indians applaud pot meals which can be obtainable overseas, we’ve got one proper right here that always doesn’t get the credit score it deserves.
Thus, the e book is a means of spreading the love for khichdi by recipes from all throughout India and has offered 15 copies, every priced at Rs 941. The sister duo has pledged to present away all proceeds from the gross sales to charity and says they’ve donated Rs 21,000 to this point.
Khichdi from throughout India
As for the way they sourced the recipes, Ratika says some had been carried out by collaborations with cooks throughout India who shared their data, whereas others had been their very own creations.
“Every recipe within the e book is tried and examined by us,” assures Ratika, including that there was a day they cooked 31 khichdis in whole. The e book additionally contains some fusion recipes equivalent to oats khichdi, paneer butter masala khichdi.
Ratika says the Balaee khichdi of Himachal Pradesh is one in every of her favourites. “It has rice, pink gram, curd, onion, garlic and is definitely a really shut resemblance to yakhni pulao.”
Whereas quite a few khichdis from throughout India characteristic within the e book, listed below are 5 that stand out.
Kharzi from Arunachal Pradesh
The spicy recipe is a staple meals of Arunachal Pradesh and has oodles of cheese, a welcome addition to the dish. In conventional houses, the rice is cooked in bamboo over scorching coal to present it the correct flavour. What makes the dish hit the correct notes is that it’s ready by grinding the rice with pink chillis and fermented cheese.
Gud Nariyal Khichdi from Goa
What units this dish aside is that it’s cooked with jaggery and coconut and a particular Goan rice ukdo tandool. There’s a spiritual occasion known as ‘Manni Punov’ in the course of the full moon, the place Goddess Jagdamba is worshipped with an providing of liquor, fish, eggs, and this khichdi.
Mongkhasar (Mong Khasar) from Kashmir
As you will have guessed, yoghurt and the normal Kashmiri pink chillies are the star substances of the mongkhasar. The dish additionally options entire garam masalas and spices that give it its genuine flavour. Rice is the staple meals in Kashmir and spicing it as much as make the mongkhasar is fascinating.
Jagannath Puri Khichdi Prasad from Odisha
Odisha is legendary for the Mahaprasad whereby a complete of 56 holy dishes are cooked day by day and provided to Lord Jagannath. Earthen pots are used for cooking and it’s believed that the Goddess Mahalaxmi herself is doing the cooking in disguise. The Sankhudi Mahaprasad contains rice combined with lentils right into a porridge consistency.
Bhoger Khichuri from West Bengal
Ready from Gobindobhog rice which is short-grained, white, fragrant and sticky rice, the bhoger khichuri of West Bengal is a favorite not simply within the state however all through India. If the number of rice isn’t obtainable, it may be substituted with basmati. The dish additionally options moong dal, cauliflowers and carrots and is a favorite throughout pujo.
Whereas these are conventional khichdis from throughout India, here’s a enjoyable fusion recipe by the CauldronSisterss.
Tandoori Paneer Khichdi (Serves 4)
- 1 cup rice (soaked for 30mins)
- 1/2 cup kala chana (soaked in a single day)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 inexperienced chilli finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 1 tbsp tandoori masala
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup paneer chopped into small items
- 1 tbsp ghee
- Salt to style
Step 1: Take a stress cooker and warmth ghee in it.
Step 2: Add onion, garlic, chillies and sauté.
Step 3: Sauté soaked rice and chana.
Step 4: Add 4 cups of water and salt.
Step 5: Cool until 4 whistles.
Step 6: In one other pan, take butter and tandoori masala.
Step 7: Sauté until the uncooked scent goes and add tomato purée to it and sauté once more until butter floats.
Step 8: Add paneer cubes and toast until paneer is crispy.
Step 9: As soon as the cooker is open, combine tomato into it.
Step 10: Mix and warmth. Serve with a great deal of butter.
Buy Khichdi: Easy, Soulful & Soothing right here.
Edited by Yoshita Rao