Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew is the quintessential Indian comfort food. Every Indian worth his salt loves and swears by this bowl of warm stew. Cooked with veggies, simple everyday spices and that final touch of clarified butter or ghee, this is what you need to perk you up and get you feeling warm again.
I was just listening to Shake it off by Taylor Swift. Dont judge!! I was in the mood for some light music and well right after Katy’s “Roar”, Beyonce, Taylor is right there. Now that song is all kinds of peppy, perfect to listen to when you are in a grumpy mood, had a bad day at work or just feeling blue. And since I was feeling a bit meh this song did the trick for me! “Haters gonna hate u..shake it off!” 😛
Just as music is the language of the soul, food is the manna that your soul needs to sustain. But when you are in that special place, just any food wont do. Nope. It has to be something special and more often than not it has to be cloaked in memories. Memories of people you love, of a time you loved or may be just something that made you laugh. Its those dishes that became indelible from our memory and form as much a part of us as our today.
If you are an Indian, or privy to Indian culture, you are not a stranger to the humble Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew. Different regions have their own version. North Indians typically love a good hearty khichdi like this one, where as many of my Bengali friends are more partial to the simpler khichdi (without vegetables and a quick paanch phoran tadka). Sindhi khichdi is a little different too. And so do we.
Ever since I can remember, I have hear my dad coax my mom sweetly to make Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew , mostly on Saturdays. I was quite a willful child and somehow I didnt like Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew till I was 15! Its somehow only after I turned 15 and grew a palate I suppose that I finally fell in love with the subtle nuances and delight that Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew is. The way my mom dry roasted the mung dal or lentil, its nutty aroma permeating the room, followed by measuring the rice to go into the Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew, chopping the vegetables and handing us pieces of carrot batons and fresh peas to munch on. Finally, she would put the tadka or tempering on the khichdi, that was sheer art! Ghee or clarified butter melted and in goes one spice after the other till the entire house is redolent with the promise of the delicious meal that is to follow. And finally, the humble Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew would be served to four hungry mouths and we would savor it silently.
Usually at my home we make Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew along with some side dishes that are must. This thaali that I shared on Instagram is a part of my and my husband’s childhood. That essential everyday lunch/dinner thaali or platter. Since this is basically a flavored, super healthy, mildly spiced rice and lentil stew , we prefer having some other dishes along with it. Our must haves are simple cumin spiced potatoes that take minutes to make, crispy grilled aubergine with garlic and turmeric, some cold yogurt, pickles or achaar, pickled cucumber and onions, green chutney, papad or roasted poppadum and something sweet to cap the meal perfectly. It sounds like a lot and too time taking, but honestly I am so used to it by now that I can prepare the entire meal in an hour. Actually in under an hour.
Served with the goodies or just by itself, this Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew is comfort food at its best.
Its super healthy since it hardly uses any oil, has a little ghee (1 tbsp) which is very good for you, studded with fresh vegetables, had lentils which we all know are super good and a healthy dose of immunity boosting turmeric! Not only in this one pot meal easy to make, but its just as easy to relish. major bonus in my books is that fact that it is adored by both the tiny adults and us grown ups.
So don’t be daunted by this seemingly Indian staple of Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew, its the easiest stew there is. If you don’t love khichdi yet, I am sure you will after making yourself and your loved ones this healthy and nutritious meal of Khichdi or one pot and rice lentil stew