Khichdi is a simple rice and mung (moong) bean dish that is made throughout India. Each family has their own version and it is considered comfort food. It is fundamental in Ayurveda and is seen as both restorative and healing. Mung bean is tri-doshic, meaning that it balances all three doshas. It is easily digestible and especially good for those with Vata doshas. It is excellent to use while recovering from illness or detoxifying your body.
The beauty of khichdi is, there is no wrong way to make it. If you prefer it bland or spicy, with or without vegetables, it is very customizable based on your tastes. My local Indian grocery store has a pre-mixed basmati rice and mung bean mix that I like to use. It doesn’t have quite enough beans in it for my personal tastes, so I usually add additional.
This is a general guideline to how I make my Khichdi. Many recipes show directions for using a pressure cooker, which I don’t have, so this is made entirely on the stovetop. This makes a large pot, I will say probably 4 or more servings.
- 1 cup Khichadi mix (or one cup of Basmati rice)
- 1/2 cup split mung (moong) beans – I like a mixture of green and red
- 1 medium onion-sliced
- 2 carrots peeled, sliced and diced
- 1 cup of chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped green beans
- 2 tablespoons of ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- Salt to taste
- 5 cups water
- Place rice and beans into a large bowl and rinse three to four times, using a strainer to pour out water. Then, cover the rice-mung mixture with fresh water, letting it soak for about 20 minutes.
- While your rice and beans are soaking, prepare your vegetables. Peel, cut and dice your onion and carrot. Chop cauliflower and green beans into bite sizes.
- In a large, heavy bottom pot, melt the ghee. When completely melted, place the cumin and mustard seeds in the pot until they begin to crackle. Add diced onion, carrots, cauliflower and green beans. Then add curry and ginger. Saute veggies until onions are translucent.
- Add the rice and lentils, sauteing for about two minutes. Add salt and water. Let come to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Khichdi should have a “mushy” consistency when fully cooked. If it begins to get too dry, add more water.
- Serve the khichdi in a shallow bowl with additional warm ghee and fresh cilantro.
Other spices that can be added would include coriander, fennel, cinnamon and cardamom. Coriander and fennel are both cooling, so are excellent for this with Pitta dosha. Cinnamon is excellent for Kapha and good for Vata as well. Cardamom is great for all three doshas, but, Pitta should use less.
Every time I make this recipe, it changes on my mood, what my body is telling me it would like and what I have available in my refrigerator and pantry. Isn’t that the true definition of comfort food?