In India, the combination of rice & dal is a classic one – truly a match made in heaven. This type of one-pot dish is simply known as a “khichidi” but there are many delicious variations. For many Indians, including myself, khichidi is total comfort food. Traditionally, khichidi is made with split moong dal – either split moong dal with the skin left on (partially green colored dal) or with the skin completely removed (yellow moong dal). The choice is up to you but both are equally delicious & nutritious.
Moong dal (also known as the mung bean or green gram) is healthy, nutritious and tasty. It is very common in most Asian cuisines. Moong dal is also a good source of protein and a favorite among vegetarians. In appearance, moong dal are small green oval shaped beans. They can be split in half, with the skin left on or not. All of the varieties of moong dal can easily be found in any Indian grocery store.
My Mixed Vegetable Khichidi is a wonderful example of this delicious & tasty combination of dal, rice & your favorite vegetables simmered together until tender. When served simply along with a koshimbir (salad), tak (spiced buttermilk) & papads (crispy lentil wafers) – you have a typical Maharashtrian meal & home cooked comfort food at its best ☺.
MIXED VEGETABLE KHICHIDI (Rice, Dal & Vegetables)
1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed & drained well
½ cup yellow moong dal (skinned & split green gram dal), rinsed & drained well
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 dried red chilies
1 bay leaf
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
8-10 small cauliflower florets
1 small carrot, peeled & chopped
5-6 green beans, trimmed & chopped into 1” pieces
3-4 spears of baby corn, cut into 1” pieces
½ cup of green peas (frozen is fine)
salt to taste
4 cups water
2 tbsp ghee (or butter)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
freshly grated coconut for garnish
fresh lemon wedges for garnish
In a large deep pot on medium high heat, add the ghee. When hot, add in the cumin seeds along with the dried red chilies, bay leaf & asafetida. After about 30 seconds or so, add the turmeric. After another 30 seconds, add in the vegetables along with the rice & dal – making sure that all of the ingredients are well coated with the spices & oil. Next, add the salt & about 3 to 3½ cups of water. (If you like a softer khichidi, add 3½ cups of water). Mix well to combine, bring to a gentle boil, cover, reduce the heat to low & let cook for about 15-20 minutes or so or until all of the ingredients are tender.
Alternatively, the cooking process may also be done in a pressure cooker. Garnish with lots of freshly chopped cilantro, freshly grated coconut & lemon wedges.
Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the dish as potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, butternut/acorn squash, broccoli florets, edamame…
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