Khichri (khichdi), a kind of all in one Indian food, has a special place in Sikh history. Historic Gurdwara Handi Sahib in Danapur, Bihar, is famous for a tradition dating back to 1671 of serving khichri to sangat in its community kitchen langar hall. The historic gurdwara commemorates Mai Ji, a poor old women who expressed her devotion by scrimping and saving rice and lentils, bit by bit, until she had enough to make a pot khichri to serve Prince Guru Gobind Rai and his family.
Khichri is a quick cooking, nutritious combination of rice and daal, (lentils) cooked together with vegetables and flavored with spices of India. Recipes for Khichri vary quite a lot and are as individual as the cook, or what happens to be on hand at the time of preparation. Khichri is for perfect potluck. For a fun filled family reunion, or group get together, try making a mystery meal where every one brings ingredients to contribute to the pot. The bibek Community Kitchen Khichri recipe below made according to the guidelines of conscious cookery which include prayer and meditation during preparation, is very tender, tasty, fluffy and flavorful. I've given ideas for substitutions or additions, just be sure to adjust salt and seasonings accordingly if adding to the original proportions.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8-12 Servings
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 1/2 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 inches ginger minced
- 1 1/2 green chili (Jalapeño)
- 1 large tomato
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 5 shakes ground black pepper
- 2 small carrots
- 2 small stalks of celery
- 3 small potatoes
- 3 clumps of cauliflower
- 3 large Brussels sprouts quartered and chopped (optional)
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves (large handful)
- 3/4 cup split moong daal
- 3/4 cup spilt masoor daal
- 3/4 cups basmati rice
- 9 cups water
- Substitutions or Additions
- Vegetables: (1/4 - 1/2 cup)
- Broccoli, Red or Green cabbage.
- Baby summer squash, or zucchini.
- Turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, or beets.
- Green peas, green beans, or baby lima beans.
- Grains and Lentils may be combined in the ratio of 1/3 to 2/3 or half and half.
- Rice, brown rice, quinoa, millet, or barley.
- Whole Mung beans, Toor daal, Red, Green or Brown lentils, Green or Yellow split peas, split Channas, split Urid daal.
Use a large pot, frying pan, or sarbloh karhaee which will hold about 6-8 quarts.
Toast cumin seeds until they darken and begin to pop while heating a dry pan.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and continue toasting cumin seed while dicing onions, garlic and ginger while the oil heats up. Saute onions garlic and ginger in hot oil. Mince jalapeno, or other green chili, add to seasonings and saute until onions have reddened and browned.
Add chopped tomato and saute until it is well cooked, stirring so that it does not stick. Add turmeric, garam masala, black pepper, and salt to tomato and seasonings and stir until combined.
Stir in chopped vegetables, rice and daal. Add 9 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and and simmer about 30 minutes until you can see the rice and daal. Turn off the heat and allow the khichri to fluff up. When all of the water is absorbed khichri is ready to serve.
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, or fresh parsley, if you have it on hand. Makes 8 - 12 delicious servings.
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