Baked Masala Khichdi

Baked Masala Khichadi

“Khichdi” a name and dish which resonates with most Indian’s though the preparation style and occasion may span a vast spectrum. Just to give you perspective. You can keep it bland, toss in loads of veggies, spice it up, add dollops of clarified butter (Ghee), use an array of lentils ranging from Arhar to Sabudana and this never-ending list can simply go on!!!

It’s a common dietary suggestion for someone recovering back to good health or one who gets easily disheartened at the sight of old fashioned dal & chawal or most importantly children, yes those vegetarian munchkins who dramatically reject this great source of proteins!!! Believe me, it worked like magic with my fusspot daughter all through her growing up years.

But guys I must make a confession, once home even from the most exotic travels having soaked in splendid food experiences what I truly relish is indulging in freshly cooked homestyle Khidchi!!!

As ubiquitous as this dish maybe, I was brimming with eagerness to share this all-new recipe taught by Chef Vicky Ratnani to a select few recently at Indore! Indeed a delicious way to serve something as traditional by simply baking the combination of Khichdi and Dahi (Greek Style Yogurt), whether to satiate your solo palate or cater to larger groups, this one is always a winner!!!

So friends go ahead and try it out or use your own imagination freely to twist it around & I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!!!

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Course Main
Servings 2-3 persons
Preparation Time 15 min
Cook time 20-25 min

Ingredients for the Baked Khichdi

(1 cup=200 ml, 1 tbsp= 15 ml)

½ cup Moong dal (yellow lentil)
½ cup Rice
1/3rd cup Fresh peas, boiled
1/3rd cup Cabbage, finely chopped
1/3rd cup Green French beans, finely chopped
1 no. Onion, finely chopped
1 no. Tomato, finely chopped
5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2-3 nos. Green chilies, chopped
1 tsp Ginger, chopped
½ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Hing or Asafoetida powder
1 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)
1 tsp Red chili powder
2-3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
1 cup Hung curd

Ingredients for tempering (Tadka)

1 tsp Mustard seeds (rai)
3-4 Whole red chilies
1 tbsp Finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp Oil
A few Curry leaves

Instructions for the Baked Khichdi

1. Wash the moong dal and rice well and soak for 10-15 minutes.  Drain and keep aside.
2. Take a cooker. Add the rice and lentils. Add water just enough to cover the rice and lentils. Add salt and turmeric powder. Close the lid and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
3. Once it’s cooked mash it well and keep aside.
4. Heat the ghee in a pan.  Splutter the cumin seeds and add the asafoetida powder.
5. Add in the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chopped garlic, ginger and green chilies. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
6. Add in the beans, cabbage, and the peas and cook for 1-2 minutes.
7. Now add in the tomatoes.  Cook the tomatoes until the ghee comes up to the surface.  Add in the red chili powder and salt as per taste.
8. Now mix in the rice lentil mixture. In case the mixture is too thick thin it down a bit with ½ cup of water. Finally, add in the lemon juice and let it boil for a few minutes.
9. Now take a baking dish.  Layer the Khichdi layer.  Top this completely with the hung curd layer (Do not add salt to the curd) (The curd should be hung well for 6-8 hrs at least).
10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees until it is hot.

To Serve

1. Heat oil in a pan. Temper the mustard seeds, whole red chilies and neem (curry) leaves.
2. Add in chopped garlic and sauté until crisp.
3. Now add the tadka to the baked Khichdi and serve hot.

Enjoy with papad & pickle!

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