The dish that provided the inspiration for kedgeree, Moong Dal Khichdi is the original Indian comfort food eaten in the home and at celebration across India. There a number of varieties of khichdi, but this recipe is about as basic as they come. Not that it suffers from its simplicity.
Unlike other Indian rice dishes – biryani, for instance – khichdi has a very soft, dense texture. It’s almost porridge-like, a result of the softened moong dal. You can see why it’s described as comfort food.
Spoonful after spoonful, this is the sort of dish that will never get old. It’s probably a good idea to portion it out. If you don’t, you could find yourself with an empty pan and a rather larger belly than before.
As for how to serve your moong dal khichdi, it’s as delicious with another curry as it is on its own. Use it as you would any other dal, but because of its consistency, khichdi is at its finest simply mopped up with flatbread.
Moong Dal Khichdi
- 100g rice
- 100g split mung beans (moong dal)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 chillies, finely sliced
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- a handful of garden peas
- Soak the rice and moong dal together in cold water for half an hour. Rinse through with fresh water until it becomes clear.
- Tip the rice and dal into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until both ingredients are softened.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan or wok. Gently toast the cumin seeds, followed by the onion, ginger paste, chillies, turmeric, salt and tomatoes.
- Allow the ingredients to thicken and cook down, adding water if necessary. Once the rice and dal are ready add the spice mixture to the pot, along with a handful of garden peas.
- Allow the dish to simmer together for 2 minutes and serve immediately with flatbreads.
Cost: Rice, dal and spices. Vegetarian Indian food is some of the cheapest available. Flavour per penny, you can see why many consider it the best cuisine in the world.
Even if I’m slightly overestimating the cost of ingredient in the recipe above, the khichdi still comes in under £1.