Chef Simmrin Chakravarty's Khichdi
It’s so important to nourish your inner spirit while also practicing daily self-care for your skin to maintain your Maha glow — something we're incredibly grateful to help champion! This is Chef Simmrin's restorative recipe for Khichdi. Khichdi is perhaps the most popular “One Pot Meal” dish available all over India. Comforting, satisfying, restorative and delicious. Every state from the North to South and East to West of India has its own version of this nutritious, yet easy to make pot of goodness. The word Khichdi loosely translated means a mish-mash, a mélange of ingredients coming together in a messy coherence.
Most versions of Khichdi are easy to digest and light on the stomach yet packed with high satiety value. The super soft consistency and simplicity of this dish has made it one of the first semi-solid/solid foods introduced to a toddler. High in nutrition – proteins, vitamins and essential minerals, Khichdi finds its place all over India and elsewhere.
The Khichdi recipe featured today is a BENGALI KHICHDI, made on special occasions or made to make any occasion special! Typically served with a side of sweet, tangy and spicy tomato chutney and an assortment of fries – fried fish, fried eggplant etc.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- Basmati Rice 1/2 cup
- Lentils (your choice) 1/2 cup (Mung dal OR Masoor dal)
- Basmati Rice 1/2 cup
- Cauliflower 1 head cut into medium florets
- Yellow Potato 2 medium, washed, peeled, and cubed (same size as cauliflower)
- Onion sliced 1/2 cup
- Ginger Garlic paste 1 tsp each
- Bay Leaf 1
- Whole Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
- Whole Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
- Fenugreek Seeds ½ tsp
- Kalonji (onion seeds) 1 tsp
- Fennel Seeds 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder 2 tsp
- Coriander Powder 2 tsp
- Cumin Powder 1 tsp
- Cayenne Pepper to taste (optional)
- Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Ghee (clarified butter) OR Oil 3 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp
- Cilantro (optional) 2 Tbsp (garnish)
- Wash the rice and lentils separately (at least 3 times), till water runs clear. Soak both the rice and lentils separately for about 20-30 minutes, filling the container with water just enough to cover the rice and lentils.
- In a large mixing bowl toss the cauliflower florets and potatoes with 1 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of turmeric. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile take a large wide pot, heat about 2 Tbsp or oil or Ghee. Once hot, fry the cauliflower and potatoes on a high flame till the surface of both get a nice golden-brown hue, take care not to over cook them. Take them out with a slotted spoon and drain them on some paper towels, keep aside.
- Add a little more oil or ghee to the same pot (about 1 Tbsp or so), lower the heat to medium and add in the bay leaf, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, kalonji (onion seeds) and fennel. Let them cumin splutter/crackle/pop and then add in the onions.
- Sautee the onions (adding a pinch of salt) till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell of garlic disappears and the garlic has a slight golden-brown hue, not burnt.
- Take a small mixing bowl, add in all the powdered spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika), add in about 2 Tbsp (or more) of water and mix into paste. Add in the powdered spice paste to the sautéing onions and keep cooking till the spices are well cooked. Spices are cooked when they release some oil into the pot. Once you see the oil surrounding the spice mixture, keep stirring for a few minutes. You may need to add a little water from time to time while the spices are getting sautéed with the onions to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Drain the soaked lentils add them to the sautéing onions and spices. Keep stirring till every grain is well blended with the spice mix. Once mixed, add in 2 cups of water, cover the pot and cook lentils on a medium heat till the lentils are about 75% cooked (about 10 mins or till lentils are semi soft to touch). Uncover the pot and add in the drained rice. Add about 1 cup (or more) of water, cover and continue to cook till rice swells and is about 75% cooked (soft to touch but still has a slight crunch – al dente).
- Add in the preciously fried potatoes, salt to taste, garam masala powder. Cover and continue cooking till potatoes are nearly done (fork tender), add in the previously fried cauliflower, stir, cover the pot and cook for about 8 minutes. Adjust the salt, add more if needed. You may need to add additional water while the khichdi is cooking as it tends to get dry.
- Khichdi is done once the rice and lentils are well blended and veggies are cooked. It should not be runny, but have a thick consistency resembling a chowder.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, serve hot with a choice of either roasted papad (lentil crisps), tomato chutney, fried fish, fried eggplant, yogurt etc.
Simmrin Chakravarty is a food scientist, mom, and innovative chef. Simmrin has more than 20 years of experience teaching cooking lessons and has always been especially interested in the science involved in cooking. As a teenager and young adult she focused her passion to excel at food science at college, honing her technique and expanding her palette in the lab as well as her parents’ kitchen. Simmrin has always loved the creativity and excitement of making traditional as well as innovative recipes but mostly she loves how food and the making of it brings people of all ages together. Simmrin's Kitchen Kraft Lab is a welcoming space for anyone interested in the same. Check out more of Simmrin's classes at: Kitchen Kraft Labs