Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rice and Mung Dal Khichdi

These days I am besotted with Khichdi. Plain, nutritious yet tasty mushy mess full of goodness.

A dear friend asked me if I am into spring cleaning diet with a focus on cleanse. I explained that it was a sheer coincidence. Eat sensibly, be happy and take time out for exercise and activities you enjoy is my mantra. Many of my American friends follow a spring cleanse routine during the switch in weather from winter to spring. For those who are clueless, spring cleaning is an activity undertaken in US where a lot of cleaning activity happens on the home front. This is more applicable if you live in geographies that have a relatively colder climate. Much before I could even think of spring cleaning, there was a weird snowfall with freezing cold weather couple of days ago.

Pure home made Ghee is a must for Khichdi. In my opinion, its a match made in heaven. The Khichdi recipe has many variations with respect to Indian kitchens. I am very picky about my Khichdi and do not like too many spices, vegetables intervening in the recipe. Ma makes this Khichdi for us regularly and I adore the simplicity of this dish, although my Dad dislikes rice based foods unless its an authentic Konkani recipe. :-)

Rice and Mung Dal Khichdi
Simple mushy Rice and Mung Dal with ghee and spices 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Rice (Jeeraga Samba Rice) - 1 measure
Mung Dal (split variety) - 1/2 measure
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Corns (whole) - 1/2 tsp
Pure homemade Ghee - 1 tbsp
Sea Salt 

For Garnish -
Homemade Ghee - 1 tsp
Coarse Black Pepper powder - a pinch

Rinse the rice and mung dal in multiple changes of water, till the water is clear. Drain the water and keep aside.
In a non-stick pan, heat a tbsp of Ghee. Once the ghee melts and is hot enough, season with cumin seeds. Once the seeds bloom in ghee, add the pepper corns. Give a good stir and add the washed rice and lentils. Mix gently and add three times the quantity of warm water. Add sea salt to taste. Give a taste test. Bring to boil. Simmer away and let it cook for 20-25 minutes with the lid on. Check after 25 minutes, the rice and lentils will be mushy and cooked completely. The consistency will be like that of a porridge. Turn off flame and serve hot. Garnish with homemade ghee and coarsely crushed black pepper powder.

Note - Use good quality of rice which carries a nice aroma. I prefer not to use Basmati rice for Khichdi. Add three times the quantity of warm water to the rice and lentils ratio [3:1].

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