Uju’s Quinoa With Urad Dal Khichdi

Quinoa, urad dal khichdi

Quinoa Urad dal Khichdi

Khichdi or Khichri is an easy staple food enjoyed in every Indian house hold. Whether it is for breakfast, quick weeknight dinner or a gathering, holy event, Khichdi serves the purpose. This vegan, vegetarian gluten-free Khichdi is made of rice, lentils, onions, oil and spice tampering. Optionally potatoes, vegetables, and ghee are added and then boiled until cooked. Khichdi is usually mushy, more like mashed potatoes consistency. Indian pickles are a great side to Khichdi. Popular vegetables used are Potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, green beans. Khichdi is consumed as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For those looking for great, home-cooked vegan, vegetarian meatless options, khichdi will win you over.

Khichdi is considered healthy and hygienic. It is a balanced blend of carbohydrates, protein, veggies and good fat. That’s why it is popular all-natural homemade baby food in India. Mothers start feeding it when infants are as young as 9 months. They cook rice and lentils until they are very soft and watery, topped with ghee. Usually, vegetables are not added till infants are over a year old.  Not just infants, even seniors, sick people are fed Khichdi.

Khichdi, though considered healthy, it is high in carbohydrates. It was ideal to be consumed by hard-working farmers in olden days. In modern low metabolic lifestyle, khichdi need right ingredients to lower carbohydrates, add protein and fiber. Quinoa, urad dal (black gram lentils) khichdi is exactly the one for those looking for simple, easy weeknight meatless meals, which as well is low in carbs and healthy. If you are not in the mood for quinoa, brown rice is a perfect replacement. I used Urad dal split with skin. Split lentils take the same length of cooking time as quinoa or brown rice, which makes them perfect for this dish. Skin makes them whole grain and 30% fiber. Urad dal is easy to buy. Local indian grocery store is the best choice, or you can find on amazon here. You will love the versatility.

According to Wikipedia, Recently the Indian media unofficially designated Khichdi as the National Dish and it is being globally promoted by the Government of India as “queen of all foods”. India’s Minister of Food Processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, “Khichdi is considered nutritious, healthiest food in India, and it is eaten by poor and rich alike, irrespective of their class. It symbolizes India’s great culture of unity in diversity. So it has been selected as the brand of Indian food.” Under the wider plan to popularize and promote Indian cuisines internationally and to provide opportunities for both investment and trade in the food processing sector for leading Indian and international companies, the government plans include popularisation of the brand India Khichdi and recipe in restaurant and kitchens throughout the world by Indian Foreign Missions. India Khichdi recipe includes rice, moong beans, amaranth, jowar, bajra, barley and Indian spices.

Khichidi is made in every state but in a different version. Bengalis make Khichuri, while khechidi is made in Odisha. Bisibele bath in Karnataka, Pongal in Tamil Nadu. Coconut khichdi is made in quite a few regions. Prawn khichdi made in coastal areas of Maharashtra. Regional favorite sides are consumed in each of the states. With so much diversity and history, I would think, khichdi should be officially be made Indian National Dish.

Urad dal

Tampering makes khichdi more flavorful. You can skip tampering to save time. Add oil, chilies and turmeric powder to quinoa and dal mix before cooking. Skip rest of the items.
Author: Ujwala Chintala
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ – ¾th cup urad dal (black gram lentils)
  • 2-8 small green Thai chilies or red chilies
  • 1 small onion or 3 springs spring onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 oz french beans – optional
  • 2 brussels sprouts – optional
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp healthy oil as coconut or olive oil.
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin (jeera)
  • 5-8 curry leaves
  • ⅛th tsp turmeric powder – optional
  • Cilantro
  • 1 tsp – homemade all-purpose spice powder. http://www.ujwalasdelicacies.com/multipurpose-vegan-gluten-free-spice-powder/
  1. Wash and soak urad dal for at-least 2 hours.
  2. It is easy to cook in pressure cooker. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, you can still cook in a regular pot, but it needs more water and takes longer to cook.
  3. Add quinoa and urad dal to a pressure cooker. Add 5 cups of water.
  4. Add diced onion, chilies, carrots and other veggies.
  5. Close the lid and cook until 5 whistles. My pressure cooker cooks quinoa in 2 whistles. I cook khichdi for 5 whistles. We need to cook until mushy consistency.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare for tampering. Tampering makes khichdi more flavorful. You can skip tampering to save time. Add oil, chilies and turmeric powder to quinoa and dal mix before cooking. Skip rest of the items.
  7. In a kadai, heat oil to medium.
  8. Add red chilies if using. Cook until brown.
  9. Then add mustard seeds, when they start spluttering, add cumin.
  10. Cook till brown. Add curry leaves.
  11. Whey they stop spluttering add turmeric powder.
  12. Pour hot tampering over cooked khichdi.
  13. Add spice powder. Mix well
  14. Garnish with cilantro, and serve hot.
  15. Optionally pour the desired amount of ghee on top.
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