Christmas Kichdi!

Posted on December 25
Location: London
Christmas Kichdi!

In every part of India Christmas is joyfully celebrated by people of all religions and communities. In Christian households, preparations for Christmas begin at least a month in advance. People get their homes whitewashed and indulge in spring cleaning of the house to give it a fresh new look. Ladies start preparations for the traditional Christmas cake and other cuisines which are anxiously awaited not just by the entire family but also by the neighbours.

Even in our households, we celebrated Christmas with a family get togethers and by cooking lots of local delicacies, mostly meat based dishes. Somehow my mother was least affected with the appealing food options, Christmas had to offer. When we all appeared tired eating all those special Christmas food, she used to enjoy her very healthy nutritional food, khichdi or rice+dalma or some vegetable stew stuff, very calmly and slowly with perfect contentment.  

Today, somehow I woke up thinking and missing “Kichdi”. While in bed, I called my mother to obtain the recipe. I can tell that she can never be a good cookery show host. Never!!! She goes, add this, and add that and then it is ready. I am like: how much to add? And how long to cook? Hello; I am going to cook it for the first time. Then I called my sister, a perfect cook and a definitely she has all the abilities to become a GOOD cookery show host. She has patience to explain and has the courage to experiment. She explained all in details. Quantity, time, process and quality control – all “check”!

I wanted to revive my childhood and I have something in hand to make my Christmas day, special. I went for my usual 6 km run in the morning and then: its “Kichchi time”!!! They say, Christmas is about sharing. Let me then share my mother’s / sister’s kichdi recipe to you all. Try it and let me know how you liked it.

Khichidi is very popular n Orissa and all over India. There are varieties of khichidi in Orissa like adahengu khichidi (ginger-asafoetida khichdi), moong dal khichdi, etc. Adahengu khechidi is a popular dish in the Jagannath Temple as well. At home, moong dal khechidi and other khechidis are served with pampad, pickle, curd, aaloo bharta, or baigan bharta, raita, dalma, and chutney.

Ingredients:-

  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Roasted Moong Dal (Split Yellow lentils) - 1 cup
  • Water - 3 cups (as per requirement)

Vegetables:-

  • Potato, raw banana, egg plant, green beans, peas, cauliflower, carrot & grated coconut. All the vegetables should cut in small. One onion for Aloo bharta (fried Potato mash)

‚Äč Spices:-

  • Bay leaf (Teja patra), Dry Red Chillies (Sukhila Lanka), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Grated Ginger (Checha Ada), Green Chillies (Kancha Lanka), Turmeric Powder (Haldi), Sugar to taste (Chini), Salt to taste  
  • Oil - 2-3 tsp

Method:-

  • Clean and wash the rice & moong dal together and soak for 30 minutes. After soaking rice and dal, drain the excess water and keep aside. First heat the water in high flame and let it boil.
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in another deep pan. Add teja patta (bay leaves), cumin seeds, dry red chillies, and grated ginger to the oil and saute for a while. Then immediately add the boiling water to the deep pan.  Next add the rice, moong dal and all the vegetables, haldi powder and salt as per your taste. Cover it and let it cook in a medium flame about 10 minutes.
  • When the veggies are cooked, add the grated coconut, 1 tsp sugar, to the rice and mix well and let it cook in lower flame till it is done. When the khichdi will ready add rest of the oil over it and cover it for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and serve your 'Christmas Khichdi' with aloo bharta (fried Potato mash).
  • When the veggies are cooked, add the grated coconut, 1 tsp sugar, to the rice and mix well and let it cook in lower flame till it is done. When the khichdi will ready add rest of the oil over it and cover it for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and serve your 'Christmas Khichdi' with aloo bharta (fried Potato mash).
  • Aloo bharta (fried Potato mash): Boil 3-4 potatoes. Peel the skin of the potatoes and mash well. Take the oil in a pan and heat well. (Use regular oil if you like. I like mine in mustard oil). Add the mustard seeds, dry chillies and diced onions. Mix well. Cook them together for sometime.  Add the potatoes and the salt and mix well. Serve hot with "Christmas Kichadi".

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