Chana Dal Khichdi a protein rich delicious meal made with Chana Dal and Rice in Indian Spices.
It is a popular North Indian recipe that has lot of variations depending upon region to region. Chana Dal has got it’s own peculiar flavour that imparts a rustic taste to this dish.Spices used in this also make it flavourful. A dollop of desi ghee adds to the flavour of the dish. This khichdi can be enjoyed with green chutney/pickle with raita or just plain yogurt or chass(Indian Buttermilk).
Chana Dal or Bengal Gram Lentil or Split Chickpeas, are one of the richest sources of proteins for vegetarians and has a low glycemic index. It is good for people who have high sugar levels or diabetes.It has slow fat content and recommended for people who are on weight loss diets or are trying to lose weight.This dal is very popular in Indian subcontinent, especially in Northern India.
What is Khichdi..
Khichdi, a dish made with rice and lentils along with spices, with or without vegetables and is mainly popular in Indian Subcontinent. We can find the mention of Khichdi in historical texts, that makes it a popular and a comfort meal for the masses. These are various variation of Khichdi, as per the ingredients. Apart from other lentils other grains like bajra, jowar are also used for making it, depending upon the state and region.
Any variation of khichdi topped with desi ghee.. goes well with any yogurt preparation, salad,, chutney or pickle. We, especially my kids, also love to have papads with it.
Khichdi in any variation is good option for a quick lunch or dinner as it gets ready under 30 minutes. It is a comfort food especially for those times when you want something quick and easy or for those days when there are no veggies in refrigerator.
Preparation and Ingredients..
Traditionally the khichdi was cooked in open pots but that takes a lot of time, to quicken the cooking process and save time people started cooking it in pressure cooker. Now with the Instant Pots/Nutripot you can make this khichdi without any mess and baby sitting pressure cooker. Here I am posting both the methods of preparation, you can refer whatever suits. The process may seem lengthy but trust me it is so easy to make. no chopping of veggies, no stirring the masalas.. just a few minutes and a delicious meal is ready within no time.
The basic preparation remains the same. The first step and an important step is to soak dal and rice at least 30 minutes(especially Chana Dal) before cooking it. Chana Dal takes more time than rice to cook, so for this we cook Chana Dal first and then add rice. Dal is cooked first in all the spices and then in the same pot, rice is added to furter cook it. Other ingredients that we need are the whole spices(must add). Onions, ginger-garlic paste(optional) are optional and you can add or skip these as per your preference. I add onions and ginger paste and skip garlic in the recipe.
Desi Ghee adds on to the flavour of Khichdi. If you want you can use any good vegetable oil like Olive Oil to make this. The dish is suitable for vegans and gluten-free if you skip asafoetida from the recipe.
Few points to keep in mind while cooking this Khichdi to get the perfect texture..
Chana Dal Khichdi has pulao like texture, every grain in cooked khichdi should be separate(rice and dal). This Khichdi is not mushy or runny like Moong Dal Khichdi. Many people cook Chana Dal separately in a pan or pressure cooker, make masala in pressure cooker and then add rice and half cooked dal to masala and cook it together.But I cook in one pot. Saving another pan or cooker from cleaning.
In Instant Pot it takes 5 minutes each to cook dal and then again rice and dal together. In Stove-top pressure cooker, cook dal to two-three whistles and manually release the pressure, add rice and cook again till 2-3 whistles.
Add water carefully while cooking Khichdi. For the final cooking water level should be just enough to soak the rice and dal mix.
Let’s see how I make this simple and flavourful Chana Dal Khichdi..
Chana Dal Khichdi
- 1/2 Cup Chana Dal(Split Bengal Gram)
- 1/2 Cup Rice
- 1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Onions
- Ginger(small 1/2")
- 1-2 tbsp Desi Ghee/Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1-2 Dry Whole Red Chillies
- 1 Cinnamon Stick(small)
- 4-5 Peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida avoid for gluten-free version
- 1-2 tsp Garam Masala
- 1-2 Green Chillies
- Salt to taste
- Wash and soak dal and rice separately. Soak at least for 20-30 mins.
- Chop onions roughly and ginger finely.
- Switch on the SAUTE mode of Instant Pot on HIGH, when the display shows HOT, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and peppercorns.
- When the seeds crackle, add onions and finely chopped ginger. I have added whole green chillies , you can chop it finely. Saute till onions turn pink.
- Add garam masala, chilli powder mix well. Add to the onion masala. Add water around 1.5 cup.
- Cancel the SAUTE mode, keep the cover and lock it, Switch on the PRESSURE COOKER mode, Set the timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure manually(QRP).
- Add rice,, salt and fresh coriander /cilantro leaves, Mix well and again set the PRESSURE COOK mode on for 4 minutes. Add more water if required. As we have already added water while cooking dal, so add water as required.
- Once the timer goes off, quick release pressure, fluff rice lightly with fork, add some more finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
Prepare Khichdi n Pressure Cooker
- basic step remain the same till adding dal to pot. Add dal to onion masala, cook dal till 2-3 whistles and let the pressure go on it's own.
- Once the pressure in the cooker subsides, add rice, salt and fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, mix well, add water if required, and then again pressure cook it till 2 whistles.
- Let the pressure release naturally, open lid and fluff lightly with fork, serve hot.
Do try Chana Dal Khichdi my way and let me know your feedback. I am sure you and your loved ones will love this comfort meal. Enjoy with the raita, chutney and papads.
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Linking my Chana Dal Khichdi to Mega Blogging Marathon Day 3, where the theme is A-Z Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi festival. Here this whole April, I am cooking Pulao, Khichdi or Briyani, with at least one grain included in the recipe.
My earlier posts for the event..
Day 1A.. Aloo Matar Ki Tehri
Day 2 B..Broccoli Mushroom Pulao
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