Khichdi is considered the most healing and nourishing meal for vegetarians. Being a one-pot meal with rice, lentils and spices it was quick to put together for serving large groups of people. The idea of a Khichdi is to start just rice and lentil cooking in a pot and adding ingredients to make it as luxurious as possible with clarified butter and the choicest vegetables as you wish. Now, some of you may ask "Did Bai use Brown rice?". I would have to say "Of course not!". It's funny that no recipe of mine is branded "authentic" and my adventurous experiments led me to use brown rice, omit peanuts and add tomato instead.
My recipe is simple but flavored with chiilies, coconut paste, garlic, tamarind and jaggery and loaded with protein from the Vaal to produce one of the best tasting rice dishes I've tasted. Goda Masala is a local mix that I have never been able to recreate like Bai did, so I've substituted with a store bought one.
1 cup White Vaal beans- soaked for 20 mins
2 cups Brown rice
5 garlic cloves
2 inch piece of ginger
Cilantro with stems- 1/2 cup
Dessicated coconut- 1/4 cup
Green chillies- 3
Tamarind extract- 2 tspn
Goda Masala- 2 tspn
Haldi- 1/4 tspn
Asafoetida- 1-2 pinches
Jeera/Cumin Seeds- 1 pinch
Onions- 1/2 chopped
Tomato- 1 chopped.
Salt and oil as needed
1. Heat some oil add a pinch of jeera and then the onions.Saute until translucent.
2. Add the tomtaoes and saute until the mixture is mushy and soft.
3. Pressure cook the dried Vaal in some water until just cooked.
4. In a stew pot, add the washed drained brown rice and about 3 cups water and salt.
5. In a blender grind to a smooth paste the coconut, garlic, ginger, cilantro, green chillies with about
1 cup water.
6. Add the above paste in the pot along with the rest of the ingredients except the Vaal.
7. Cover and cook on low fire until the rice is just soft enough but no water remains.
8. Add the Vaal and toss together with a fork until evenly distributed. When serving add 1 tspn ghee and serve with pickle or salad.