This month, again I am back at participating in the A to Z challenge hosted by Vidya and Jolly. The letter for the month is “L” and I was tempted to go simple. My initial idea was to use limes, which are in abundance now, and make a limeade or maybe even bake a cake. However, I ditched the idea. I don’t know why but I just did. Sometimes, you have no explanations to sudden cancellations to the initial plans, isn’it it? It was when I was reminded of this kichdi which has become my staple almost every weekday as dinner. It features a lot of lentils, but I was doubtful if it would be acceptable. A couple of messages to Vidya and she confirmed it is OK, provided I place the emphasis on the lentils. It was a “yay” moment, since I was sharing it a lot on my Instagram stories and it was attracting a lot of attention. It is amazing how a super simple recipe can pique interest. 🙂
The only form of kichdi I know is our sweet version, which becomes breakfast every alternate Friday. I was introduced the savory kichdi, when I ordered it for lunch from a restaurant to have a light meal. Most of the time, kichdi is a mix meal of rice and lentils, preferably moong dal, cooked together in a slightly mashed form, and served along with a gravy and side. It is a meal that a lot of North Indian states enjoy as a comfort meal during winters. There is another version of kichdi which is a total meal in itself, like the one I am sharing with you today. It is usually called “Tadka Dal Kichdi” since the tempering and everything is included into it, and all you need as side is a nice plop of spicy pickle and some cooling yogurt.
I like my kichdi with more lentils than rice, so I take double lentils to the rice. I keep my masala that goes into the dish very simple, so that it gets done in a jiffy. I wish my girls would eat this, so that I would have made this at least once every week, but alas, they don’t like it. 🙁 I make a batch that lasts me for my working weekday dinners and stock it in the fridge. A couple of times, HD finished my portion and commented that I must be making this for them frequently. I pointed the girls to him and told, “If you can convince them, then surely!” I wish kids weren’t that fussy at times… 😕 I have put in all pointers in the recipe card itself for some ideas and tips that you may follow. Off to this super simple filling recipe…
- 1 cup mixed lentils (refer notes)
- ½ cup basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 2-3 green chillies, slit
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Salt to taste
- FOR TADKA:
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tomato, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp kasuri methi, crushed
- Coriander leaves for final garnish
- Wash the lentils and the rice till done. Soak for around 20-30 minutes and drain.
- In a pressure cooker, add the lentils and rice along with the water, chillies, turmeric and salt. Add a splash of ghee.
- Pressure cook on low flame for around 40-45 minutes. This will ensure that the lentils don't push up and mess up your stove. Allow the pressure to go by itself.
- Meanwhile, heat the ghee. Splutter the cumin and put the hing.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
- Add the onion and saute with a little salt till wilted.
- Add the masala powders and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, splash in some water and cook on low flame till the masala is totally mashed up. Make sure to keep stirring in between and adding little water if the masala sticks to the pan.
- Open the cooker and give the kichdi a good mix. If you feel the water is less, add sufficient hot water as per the consistency you would like and bring it to a boil.
- Add in the cooked masala and give a good mix. Add in the kasuri methi and coriander leaves, and finally adjust seasoning.
- Enjoy hot with raita and a dollop of achar!
I buy the mixed lentils from the mill closeby, or just dump in quantities of masoor, moong, urad and chana dals. You can add the dals as per your convenience and availablity - either use only one, two or all. 🙂