It really doesn’t get much easier than Khichdi, and this dish has the added bonus of freezing well. I’ll admit that given that it was over 100F here in New York when Shiva elected to teach me this, I began to worry about his sanity, shocked that we were cooking anything hot at all. But because this dish is so easy and the flavor pay off huge, it is a great choice to make on those days when you just can’t quite muster up the energy, for whatever reason, to get all fancy at home. The recipe below uses the vegetables that Shiva happened to have around, honestly you could put just about anything in this dish.
1 boiled potato, cooked, cut into large chunks
1 tomato, diced
1 large red onion, sliced
1 box frozen mixed veggies (or anything you have around carrots, green beans, corn, squash)
1 cup Chana Dal (yellow split peas, rinsed)
1 cup rice (white or brown, rinsed)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp minced garlic (or paste)
1/2 tbsp minced ginger (or paste)
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups of water
Heat the oil and add the asafoetida, mustard and cumin seeds until the cumin seeds pop, then add the sliced onion and cook until medium brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the rinsed dal and rice to the pan along with the garlic, ginger, salt. turmeric, cumin powder, chili powder and stir.
To this add the tomato, potato, mixed vegetables and 4 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until the rice and dal are soft, 20-25 minutes. If the water boils down before that happens simply add more. Traditionally, Khichdi is served when the rice and dal are very soft. Personally, I like it when the dal has a little bite to it, it adds a nice texture to the dish.