Food has various impacts on human life other than only cuisine or culinary art. Surprisingly even literature ,drama couldn’t resist themselves from this delicious influence.
Take this exceptionally beautiful example of Raja Bhoj and Kavi Kalidasa from ancinet Indian history.
Once Raja Bhoj was sick and he was served with the hot soft Khichdi (rice -pulses cooked together with various spices).Khichadi is one of the most wholesome( pathya) food in the lost appetite due in disease.
Suitable to his nature the curious and mischievous Raja Bhoj asked Kavi Kalidasa, “Hey great poet, tell me why this Mung daal(green lentil) has lost its original colour and outer cover”
Kavi Kalidasa replied in a scientific thought but poetic heart. He uses Shringar rasa(love expression) and says
मुद्ग्दाली गदव्याली कविन्द्र वितुष कथम्/
भक्त वल्लभ् संयोगे जाता विगतकञ्चुकी //which means
“ Dear King, look its a great example of romance.With the beloved husband the way wife sheds the outer layers of clothes (shyness) and meets him to be the single soul, this Mung Daal has also shed its green outer cover and meeting the rice to be the one ‘whole.’ physically. The properties of both are united thus. ”
This romantic example is perfect and literally is the soul of the recipe. The Wholeness of Khichadi is accepted globally today and that is why Khichdi is announced as the ‘queen of Indian foods’ and brand for Indian cuisine.
This simple looking delicacy has much more amazing facts to amuse the food lover.
Lets see ABC of khichdi
What is khichdi?
Rice and lentils/pulses when cooked together with enough amount of water with simple spices is called khichdi
Most of the readers literally don’t need the recipe but for the readers not aware of the dish at all the recipe is given at the end of this blog.
Lets move to the benefits of Khichdi:
- Very easy to cook and a quick meal in runtime which comes to rescue to almost every Indian woman often.
- This is a whole meal with balanced amount of carbs, proteins,fat and essential nutrients.Indeed this one dish meal is boon.
- It is light to digest easy on colons and is hunger fulfilling dish.
The benefits differs with the twist in the recipe.
- Use cut garlic petals abundantly while tampering(tadka)and get the benefits like relieved stomach pain due to flatulance(gases),reduces Vata dosha and good for joints.The medicinal uses of garlic needs no extra words.
- The spices like Cumins, Asafoetida,black pepper,cloves ,cinnamon, curry leaves,turmeric works magic in almost all digestive small issues. It increases the appetite, reduces the Ama (internal toxins). That is why soft Khichari with above mentioned herbs/spices is the choice of food in India from many generations.
- To increase the nutritional value of Khichdi we can add various cut vegetables, other pulses like yellow mung, green mung, whole mung, red lentils, chick peas,kidney beans, wheat daliya etc. But make sure as you are adding the more ingredients,so this khichari is good in normal healthy people. But for the one who is sick simple non spicy rice and green splitted mung daal/yellow splitted mung daal is the choice.
Some dos and don’t for Khichdi
- The combination of rice and pulses together is Kafa dominating so the persons having Kafa Dosha diseases like chronic Asthma,swelling all over body,obesity,sinusitis,diabetes should restrict the amount and frequency of Khichdi. They should always avoid eating it in night time.Before sunset they can consume it in moderate level but not frequently.
- But don’t worry for these people Khichdi made up of Bajra /jowar (millet-sorghum) with lots of vegetables and no or very less rice is the perfect and delicious solution.(You can find this unique Khichdi recipe in my other blog on same site. )
- For Vata dominant people Khichdi with cow ghee is panache. They should always take benefit of this dish.
- For Pitta Dosha Mung daal is the choice of food, so its highly recommended food for them too. Khichdi with pumpkin soup/mixed veggie soup/tomato soup/ Kokam soup is packed with super micro nutrients.Highly recommended! Pitta Dosha people avoid Kadhi with Khichdi
- Never eat Khichdi combined with milk or curd. The combination is incompatible and isn’t favourable for the immunity and overall health. Buttermilk can be consumed without worrying.
- Do not eat Khichdi and milk desserts together. Yes the incompatibility clause! (you can find my blog on the concept of incompatible food combination on site easily).
These are the simple things to follow. We Ayurveda doctors make variations in recipe as per our patients disease and needs.
Apart from all these wonderful facts the most lovely fact about Khichdi is ,it is eaten by poor and rich alike, irrespective of their class. It symbolizes India\’s great culture of unity in diversity. So it has been selected as the brand of Indian food.Promotion and popularization of the brand India Khichdi and recipe in restaurant and kitchens throughout the world will be a smart thing of the era.
Ingredients:· 1cup rice, soaked for 15–30 minutes
- ½ cup yellow lentils (moong dal), soaked for 15–30 minutes
- 2-3 tablespoons ghee or oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf, three four curry leaves.
- 6 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt(preferably rock salt)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric , half pinch asafoetida(optional)
- Ghee, for serving
Soak the rice and small yellow lentils (moong dal) in water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.Add the ghee or oil in pan or pressure cooker. Allow it a minute to heat up, then add cumin seeds and the bay leaf. When the cumin seeds turn brown add pinch of asafoetida .Add the rice and lentils (moong dal) along with the 6 cups of water, salt and turmeric.
Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 20 minutes/three whistles at high pressure.If in pan let the khichdi cook on low flame with lid closed. Make sure you check and stir time to time to avoid the burning of it in bottom.
Let the pressure release naturally. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
Serve each bowl with a spoonful of ghee and green coriander.This recipe can be customized, e.g add ginger,groundnut, garlic, green chillies,veggies or more spices
You can make this porridge thick or as thin soft as you’d like. If you prefer a thinner consistency, just add more water at the end.
Enjoy this most celebrated simple magic food!