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A healing twist to the traditional Khichdi recipe
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A healing twist to the traditional Khichdi recipe

There are many ways to enhance the classic bowl of khichdi: From adding palak to making it out of barley. Here’s how you can make the most of your bowl

Khichdi or Khichri needs no introduction! It is known for its soothing and dosha-balancing properties. It is one of the most traditional Indian dishes to eat when you have a disturbed gut. 

Khichdi is a delicate recipe made with basmati rice, lentils, ghee, spices and sometimes vegetables. It is a quick, balanced, and wholesome meal ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even when you are unwell.  

Rice and dal: a protein feast 

Explaining the importance of the Khichdi recipe, Faiza, Nutrition Consultant and Holistic health specialist, Mumbai, told Happiest health that the combination of cereals and legumes for the preparation of dal rice or khichdi is in proportions that complement the amino acid profile of each other. 

While dal and rice individually lack a few essential amino acids, the combination of the two makes for a complete amino acid profile.  

“A rice meal is rich in cysteine and methionine, which lentils are lacking. On the other hand, a lentil contains lysine, the amino acid that grains lack. The joy of eating dal rice is best with a lip-smacking tadka of ghee on it. Not only will ghee make the dish more delicious, but it will also help you absorb all nutrients from dal rice and spices like turmeric and cumin”, she added. 

The food’s subtle preparation helps preserve nutrients like B-complex vitamins, thiamine, folate, and niacin, as well as other micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus, packed with the goodness of proteins and dietary fibre.   

Benefits of the authentic recipe 

  • A fibre-packed healthy meal 
  • A complete vegetarian protein 
  • A gluten-free recipe. 
  • It keeps you full and satisfied all-day 
  • Soothes the digestive tract 
  • Improves metabolism and energy levels 
  • Skin will clear up and glow 
  • Improves immunity and energy 
  • High in fibre and low in fat 

How frequently should one consume Khichdi? 

Well, it is nutritionally not sound to exaggerate the use of khichdi as an only or very frequently opted meal. “You can consume khichdi in different & endless preparations by replacing the primary ingredients with varied nutrients found in some other grains, pulses, or whole grams to nourish your body,” says Faiza. 

“So, to say 2 to 3 times a week, one meal per day can be the frequency of consuming a khichdi as a part of a healthy balanced diet,” she added. 

A healing twist to the traditional Khichdi 

Khichdi welcomes all kinds of ingredients, adding protein, vegetables, herbs, and condiments, to eat it differently each day. Try our authentic Moong dal khichdi, Palak khichdi, and Barley khichdi recipes. 

By Goutam V

Traditional moong-dal khichdi  

Ingredients 

  • Moong dal- ¼ cup  
  • Masoor dal- ¼ cup  
  • Onion – 1 medium-sized  
  • Tomato – 1 medium-sized  
  • Green chilli- 1  
  • Ginger – 1 inch  
  • Ghee- 2 tablespoon  
  • Cumin seed/ jeera- 1tsp  
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp  
  • Hing- 1 pinch 
  • Salt to taste 

How to Prepare

  • Rinse ½ cup moong dal, 1/4 cup of masoor dal and ½ cup rice together. Then soak them for about 30 minutes in water. 
  • When the dal and rice have absorbed the water, drain it, and set it aside. 
  • Finely chop one medium-size onion, one medium-sized tomato, one small green chilli and one 1-inch ginger. 
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee, then add one teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeera); as soon as the cumin begins to splutter, add the ⅓ cup of finely chopped onions; sauté until the onions soften and turn translucent. 
  • When the onions have become translucent, add ⅓ to ½ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ teaspoon chopped green chilli, and one teaspoon chopped ginger. 
  • After stirring in the tomatoes, add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and a pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional) 
  • Sauté until the tomatoes soften, stirring often 
  • Next, drain the water from the rice and moong dal, add it to the pressure cooker, and stir for about a minute or until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add salt to taste. 
  • Mix and sauté the rice and dal for a minute. Add 3.5 cups of water and mix well, deglazing the bottom and sides of the cooker. 
  • 3.5 cups of water will give you a porridge-like consistency. For a thinner consistency, add an extra cup of water 
  • Finally, close the lid tightly and pressure cook for 8 to 9 minutes or 7 to 8 whistles on medium-high to high heat. When the pressure falls on its own in the cooker, open the lid. Garnish with coriander leaf and serve hot 

  

Nutrition Facts  
Serving size: 1 cup  
Servings: 
Amount per serving      
Calories   476  
% Daily Value*  
Total Fat 15g   19%  
Amount per serving      
Calories   476  
Saturated Fat 1.1g   5%  
Cholesterol 0mg   0%  
Sodium 48mg   2%  
Total Carbohydrate 69.7g   25%  
Dietary Fiber 13g   46%  
Total Sugars 12.2g      
Protein 17.1g      
Vitamin D 0mcg   0%  
Calcium 107mg   8%  
Iron 6mg   31%  
Potassium 1146mg   24%  
By Goutham V

Palak Khichdi 

You can use Palak to enhance the nutritional profile of your regular khichdi.  

“Palak leaves adds the micronutrients in your khichdi, to name a few irons, fair amounts of calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins. Don’t forget to squeeze half a fresh lemon on top before serving to increase iron’s bioavailability”, says Faiza.  

“Regular intake of this recipe helps manage anemia, acne breakouts, low energy levels, and supports weight loss,” she added. 

Regarding seasonal weather, be careful with freshly grown green leafy vegetables by not altogether avoiding them in the rainy season or monsoon. Instead, add in a few times a week per meal per day or swap it with a dehydrated version. 

Ingredients  

  • Moong dal- ½ cup 
  • Basmati rice- ½ cup 
  • Spinach- 1 bunch 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Coriander leaves 2 tablespoons 
  • Fresh mint-3 tablespoon 
  • Green chilli- 1 
  • Garlic cloves- 3 
  • Ghee- 3 tablespoon 
  • Jeera- 1 teaspoon 
  • Hing – ½ tablespoon 
  • Ginger – 1 inch  
  • Garlic- 2 tablespoon 
  • Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon 
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp 
  • Jeera powder- 1 tsp 
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp  

Method of Preparation

Rinse ½ cup moong dal and ½ cup rice together. Then soak them for about 30 minutes in water. When the dal and rice have absorbed the water, drain it, and set it aside.  

Preparation of spinach puree 

Take one bundle of spinach leaves and clean. Add these spinach leaves to boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Let the spinach stay in boiling water for 30 seconds. Now remove the leaves immediately and dip them in ice-cold water. This process helps to enhance the colour of spinach. Now add the blanched spinach, 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves and fresh mint leaves to the mixer grinder.  

Add 1 Green chilli and 3 cloves of garlic blend these into a fine puree and keep aside. 

Mixing the spinach and the kichadi 

  • Add 1 tablespoon ghee, 1 teaspoon jeera, half tablespoon hing or asafoetida, 1-inch ginger, 2 tablespoons garlic, and 2 red chillies roast on a medium flame for one minute. 
  • Now add 1 big-sized chopped onion and cook on medium flame till the onions are translucent. Add 1 medium-sized chopped tomato and salt to taste. 
  • Add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1 teaspoon jeera powder. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Cook until tomatoes turn mushy.  
  • Add 2 teaspoons of water if required. Now add this spinach puree and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. 
  • Now add the cooked kichadi and some boiling water if required. Stir gently and cook for 3-4 minutes.  
  • Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to it and salt as per your taste.  

Tempering of Palak Khichadi 

Now add 1 tablespoon ghee and fry 6-10 sliced peeled garlic and half a teaspoon hing or asafoetida to whole chilli and 2 pinches of Kashmiri chilli powder mix and immediately pour the hot tempering over the palak kichadi and serve hot. 

  

Nutrition Facts  
Serving size: 1 cup  
Servings: 
Amount per serving      
Calories   483  
% Daily Value*  
Total Fat 15.1g   19%  
Saturated Fat 1.1g   5%  
Cholesterol 0mg   0%  
Sodium 72mg   3%  
Total Carbohydrate 70.8g   26%  
Dietary Fiber 13.6g   49%  
Total Sugars 12.3g      
Protein 17.9g      
Vitamin D 0mcg   0%  
Calcium 137mg   11%  
Iron 6mg   35%  
Potassium 1314mg   28%  

 

By Goutham V

Barley Khichdi 

Barley is a high nutritional fibre ingredient (>6g/100g) with a low glycaemic index.  

Studies have associated the regular consumption of Barley with its potential in reducing the risk of certain diseases, such as chronic heart disease, colon cancer, high blood pressure and gallstones. 

It aligns with recommendations for a low-calorie, high-fibre diet that is high in fibre, low in fat, and low in calories. 

Barley is not easily digested by your Gut or gastrointestinal tract as compared to white rice, especially in a disturbed & mild or highly inflamed condition, because of its high dietary fibre & protein content. Make sure you cook it properly and stay well hydrated throughout the day; Dr Faiza says.

Ingredients

  • Barley- ½ cup 
  • Moong dal- ½ cup 
  • Ghee- 2 tablespoon 
  • Asafoetida/ hing- 1 pinch 
  • Cumin seed- ½ teaspoon 
  • Cinnamon- ½ inch 
  • Cloves –2  
  • Green chilli- 2 
  • Onion- 1 medium size 
  • Carrots, beans and capsicum- ¼ cup 
  • Tomato- 1 medium size 
  • Ginger- 2 teaspoon 
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ teaspoon 
  • Salt to taste 

How to prepare 

  • Rinse barley and moong dal with water and soak them in 2 cups of water for 3 3 – 4 hours 
  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, add asafoetida and cumin seeds and let them splutter for 4-5 seconds. 
  • Add cinnamon (half an inch) and cloves (2) and fry for 3-4 seconds. 
  • Add green chillies and onions, and fry until the onions are translucent. 
  • Add carrots, beans, and capsicum and stir fry them. Add tomatoes and ginger and cook for another minute. Stir continuously 
  • Drain the barley and dal water and add them to the pressure cooker with 3 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder. Stir gently 
  • Close the lid of the cooker and cook for one whistle on high heat. Now reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. 
  • Turn off the stove and let the pressure release naturally. 
  • Open the cooker’s lid and stir a tbsp of ghee. Garnish the khichdi with coriander and serve hot 

  

Nutrition Facts  
Serving size: 1 cup  
Servings: 
Amount per serving      
Calories   569  
% Daily Value*  
Total Fat 16.1g   21%  
Saturated Fat 6.2g   31%  
Cholesterol 32mg   11%  
Sodium 116mg   5%  
Total Carbohydrate 91.2g   33%  
Dietary Fibre 20g   71%  
Total Sugars 15.6g      
Protein 20.7g      
Vitamin D 0 mcg   0%  
Calcium 165mg   13%  
Iron 4mg   23%  
Potassium 1526mg   32%  
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