A Beginners Guide to Masala Khichdi

Masala Khichdi recipe, a quick, easy to prepare, healthy and soothing stew meal with rice, dal, vegetables and Indian spices

Khichdi in all its versatile avatars is ‘food for the soul’, be it the simple Khichdi, Masala Khichdi or the ghee-laden, rich Dal Khichdi. There are numerous versions and variations of the humble Khichdi based on each region of the Indian subcontinent. Each house has its own version in terms of the spices used, the proportion of rice and dal, the variety of lentils used and the texture of the cooked khichdi.

Masala Khichdi = Feel-good food at its finest! This is my perfect meal/brunch option on days when I have time or have few vegetables on hand and want to prepare a nutritious stew meal for the family.

Masala Khichdi recipe is an easy to prepare rice dish with few everyday ingredients. The addition of some spices changes the taste profile of the rice-lentil dish by leaps and bounds. Reis and Dal are certainly a game made in heaven. Turmeric powder gives the masala khichdi a beautiful yellow shade. I love the versatility of this dish, which you can put in any combination of vegetables or spices and have a soothing taste in the end.
Some tips to follow when making Masala Khichdi

This Instant Masala khichdi can be prepared in the rice cooker or pressure cooker if you have time. Use whole Indian spices such as cloves, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and bay leaf instead of garam masala powder. All the spices give the rice-lentil dish a gentle aroma and taste, without being overwhelming. You can add any mixed vegetables of your choice such as carrots, potatoes, green beans, green peas, onions and tomatoes.

I prefer jeera rice, which is also called Chitti Muthyalu in Andhra, and Jeeraga samba in Tamil Nadu. It is a short grain with an aromatic taste. Whenever I do Masala khichdi, I like to use mix-dals which include yellow moon-dal, arhar-dal or tur and chana or split green gram-dal.

You can use a combination of ghee and oil to fry the vegetables. If you want a rich taste, use ghee. Having said that, I must mention that this instant stew dish with vegetable oil tastes just as good.

IF you want a soft textured khichdi, increase the amount of water. Those who are under the weather, prefer a sticky khichdi, which easily lies on the stomach. The soft textured Masala vegetable khichdi is a healthy and nutritious baby or toddler food. I like a solid structured khichdi. So, for one cup of rice, use 1/4 cup of tur dal and 1/4 moon dal and 3 cups of water. The stems of coriander leaves, together with aromatic curry leaves, give the khichdi a beautiful taste. You can serve the masala khichdi with any pickle of your choice and yogurt or raita.

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