Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Masala Prawn Khichri

Masala Prawn Khichri
Jhinga ni Khichri

Khichri/Khichdi/Khichuri is derived from a Sanskrit word simply meaning rice and lentil.

It has many variations and is popularly related to as a comfort food. The texture generally is wet rather than dry, similar to 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! 

Egyptians and their neighbours add vegetables to it, while the Indian sub-continent likes to serve it with yogurt or other forms of curries. The people of Maharashtra living on the Arabian Sea however tend to add shrimp to their Khichri.

Healthy and simple, the plain Khichri is generally the first forms 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! 

Serves 6 to 8 persons

In a blender roughly chop together
1 cup finely chopped fried onion
6 green chillies
6 cloves of garlic

Heat a tsp of oil and quickly saute` 
the blended vegetables above adding

1 tsp jeera
½ tsp turmeric
1 1/4 tsp salt
Whole spice
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
6 whole black pepper corns
2 whole pods of cardamom lightly broken

Now add
¼ cup of grated coconut
3 chopped peeled tomatoes
500 gms/1 lb prawns

optionally also add One peeled finely chopped green mango

a pinch of brown sugar

Mix well and then tip in

 ¾ cup rice plus 1/4th cup  red/orange masoor lentils, washed
Add  1 ¾ cup water, give it a light stir bring it to a boil, 
Lower the heat  cover and steam for 20 -30 minutes until cooked through. 
Serve with pappadum.

For a vegetarian version, omit the prawns. And add 4 small ready to eat ripe mangoes into the rice just before covering to steam. Cover and steam. It will melt in and cook through. This works for larger peeled mangoes.

Alternately,if the skin is very thin I like to add them after "squeezing" them all over. This breaks down the fibers and the flesh of the mangoes into thick fresh pulpy juice. Yes keep the skin on!

If you find your mangoes are out of season and can be tasteless, sprinkle them with salt and fresh lime or lemon and leave for 20 minutes until your khichri comes to a boil. Also add a pinch of sugar if you like the sweetness of the fruit to pop. Do not discard the juices of the mango, pour it all into the pot. In this instance you must peel the mangoes.

For the coconut try and find the freshly grated coconut in the freezer section of the Indian store. Alternately use desiccated coconut. 

If you prefer you can use 1/2 tsp of garam masala instead of whole spices.

Try it with scallops or small squares of firm fish or a melange of seafood. Keep the size of each piece equal to allow it to cook at the same time.

Masoor Daal/Lentils come in many varieties. It is greeny or brown or orange in colour. They can be split or whole. They are large and tiny. Try to use the orange ones which are split for best results. 



For more Parsi Food recipes read my cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.
Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy

Niloufer's Kitchen: Autumn

Photo Credit Kainaaz Patell


  1. I love Khichri..but Niloufers version is phenominal!!!!! really mouth watering..:)

    1. Thank you Gooli Mama. I am so happy you enjoyed it.