Wednesday 22 April 2009

Khichadi-Kadhi : The ultimate comfort food

This ones a classic combination as far as comfort foods go. Of course a lot of broth preparations go quite well with Khichadi such as Tomato-Saar, Rasam, Amsul-Saar etc but there is something about this combination which makes even the otherwise supposedly bland Khichadi a welcome dish.

As much as I love this, I can not come to terms with the fact that this can be regarded as a festive dish as well! Now theres a little story behind this. When we were looking around for a marriage hall for my wedding & looked at the menu options available, almost all of them in Pune, listed Khichadi-Kadhi as one of the items. Now, Khichadi has a reputation for being something very bland & simple, fit for the sick and to put all this in a very pleasant manner at the most a comfort food. I could never imagine having Khichadi on the day of my wedding! I had rejected the menu outright without even looking at the other items. I was completely adamant that come what may I will not have Khichadi for lunch on my wedding day and everyone had to finally decided on (they did agree with me on this point) Masala Bhat.

I said supposedly bland because there are so many variations possible and I bet each household has its own version of Khichadi. To give you an example my mom made it totally different than what my MIL makes and I must add here that her version is a bit different from my FIL’s. Yes! my FIL makes the best Khichadi I have tasted so far and also the Kadhi to go with it.

My version takes a bit of each of the above mentioned and tastes very different from theirs! I have taken whatever I like in each of the above and added some of my own to get to this. Again its not necessary that I will make it exactly this way everytime. I might do something different, increase one thing, reduce another, skip something or add according to my mood that day. What I giving here is the basic Khichadi recipe that I use.


Picture 183

Serves 2


  • 3/4 cup rice (I used Sona Masoori)
  • 3/4 cup Split yellow Moong dal
  • 1 tblsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) or oil
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 6-8 Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 2 cloves
  • 6-7 Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt


Wash the rice & dal and keep aside.

Heat the ghee/oil in a deep pan/kadai. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. Once they sizzle & change colour add the curry leaves and the Asafoetida.

Add the cloves & peppercorns and fry for a minute or two. You could coarsely crush the cloves & peppercorns before adding them. Next, add the turmeric powder and mix.

Add the rice & dal and mix well. Season with salt and let it roast for 2-3 minutes.

Now add double the amount of water than that of the rice and Dal, mix well and bring to a boil.

Reduce the flame, cover & cook till the rice & dal are completely cooked. The consistency for the khichadi is usually mushy.

I use a pressure pan to speed up the process. I do the tempering & roasting of the rice & dal, add water & then cover & pressure cook it for 6 whistles. If you don't have a pressure pan, you can do the tempering & roasting in a pan & then transfer the contents into a vessel that will fit into your pressure cooker & cook it for approx 4-5 whistles depending upon the type of cooker.

Serve hot with ghee poured on it, along with Kadhi, roasted papad & some pickle.

My Notes: The quantity of water has to be adjusted to get that mushy consistency for the khichadi.

For variations I sometimes,

  • add one chopped green chilli to the tempering.
  • use green split moong dal i.e. split moong dal with the skin. This brings a nice change in the taste.
  • add 1.5 tsp of Coriander-Cumin powder to make it a little more spicier.
  • add chopped fresh coriander leaves once the khichadi is cooked.

As for the Kadhi, I completely go by my FIL’s recipe, its really the best & the simplest. But I do like garlic in my Kadhi (my mom used to add this in hers!), so I just add a bit of crushed garlic.


Picture 182

Serves 2


  • 1 cup curd
  • 2 tblsp Besan (Chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 tblsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 4-6 curry leaves
  • 2 pinches of Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of Garlic, coarsely crushed
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt


Make buttermilk (Chaas) of medium consistency using the curd and water. Add salt to this and mix well and keep aside until required.

Make paste of the chickpea flour with some water & keep aside.

heat the oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds & as they start spluttering add the Cumin seeds, curry leaves, Asafoetida and the turmeric powder.

Next, add the crushed garlic & onion and fry till the onion starts softening. Add the chopped chilli and mix.

Reduce the heat and add the earlier prepared buttermilk and stir well on medium-low flame.

Once the it is heated through, add the chickpea flour paste and sugar and continue to heat.

The Kadhi should not be allowed to boil too much. Just heated enough till the consistency goes from watery to glossy (the besan being cooked).

Adjust the salt & sugar according to your taste after switching off the flame.

My Notes: You could add any of the vegetables such as Okra, White Pumpkin, Snake gourd etc to get an additional boost in the taste.

Serve hot with Khichadi for that classic combination or with plain rice, or even along with Chapati-Bhaji. I like to have it plain & straight just like a soup too :)

Here’s another look at the dish again,

Picture 180

This plate makes for a great meal for the kids, my daughter S loves Khichadi. So it is on its way to Trupti’s Recipe Center, for the Cooking For Kids:Rice event, started originally by Sharmi of Neivedyam.


  1. Love the color of that Kadhi, great combo! :)

  2. I understand why you outright said no to the dish for your wedding lunch... But in south India, this is definitely a festive food and small functions like naming ceremony and any other function b4 the wedding would have this a part of the menu... But for wedding this is ruled out these days... I love the besan curry, my Mom uses a lil wheat flour too... Lovely combo...

  3. The kichdi and kadhi look like such a wonderful combo. Have never tried the 2 together.

  4. Asha: Thanks!

    Ramya: Yeah I know, thats what had me puzzled :) Havent known about wheat flour being used in a Kadhi, but might try it next time.

    Vandana: Try it out, its great! Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Hi Bhagyashri..first time have got lovely collection of recipes here....i totally love khichdi and comfort food :)

  6. Pavithra: Exactly! Thanks for dropping by :)

    Parita: Welcome to my space, great to have you here. I am glad you liked the recipes. Keep visiting :)

  7. First time here ...Looks so yummy good and tempting.


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