Khichri | Lentils and Rice
Khichri, Khichdi, and Khichuri are derived from a Sanskrit word simply meaning rice and lentil.
It has many variations and is popularly referred to as comfort food. The texture is generally wet rather than dry, like a risotto. It is often seasoned with clarified butter or pure ghee. From the Greeks to the Persians, it was a favourite of the Mughal Emperor Akbar! Traditionally, this Parsi Khichri is not wet but like a Palau. Served with kohra no patiyo, dahi ni kudhee, or tomato saas.
Egyptians and their neighbours add vegetables to it, while the Indian subcontinent likes to serve it with yoghurt or other forms of curries. The people of Maharashtra and Gujarat living on the Arabian Sea, however, tend to add shrimp to their Khichri and whole, ripe baby mangoes for vegetarians.
Healthy and simple, it is generally the first form of solid food introduced to babies. Being affordable as a self-contained, complete meal, it is the food of the masses. Many cultures dedicate a meal of Khichri during their week of wedding festivities, yet it is never served at the wedding!
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp fried onions
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole green cardamoms
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp turmeric
2 cups rice
½ cup red lentils
3 3/4 cups tap water
In a pan heat 2 tbsp of oil add the onions, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt and turmeric. Give it a stir.
Add the washed rice and lentils. Pour in the water.
On a high flame, bring it all to a boil. Cook till all the water is gone and you can see the top of the rice. Cover, lower the flame and steam for 22 minutes. Serve hot.
The onions are an optional addition to this Khichri and can be diced or sliced.
This can be served with
Parsi Fish or Prawn Saas from The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine
Dahi ni Kadhi and Kheema from The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders
Jhinga no patio from The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine
Read more about Parsi Food and its origins in my cookbook
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.
For more recipes from Parsi cuisine download
Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy
Photo credit Nafeesa Jalal