It is quite ironical that I’m sharing this recipe after a decade of launching this site, considering kichdi is my most favourite dish. Kichdi defines the ultimate comfort food for me and infact there are many jokes surrounding my fondness for this dish in my family.
Over the years I have tried and experimented with many kichdi recipes. Recipes cooked in different temples, taken from neighbours and friends and even my own versions. But the version that I’m sharing with you today is the one that I make the most. It is a classic kichdi recipe that can be used as a base that gives the ground for unlimited variations.
I could eat this for dinner everyday. If I’m making this for dinner on a regular day, I would make steamed, boiled or roasted vegetables or a nice pot of hot soup and serve it with some roasted papad.
And if I’m making it when I’m sick or cooking for someone who is sick, I would make it just the way it is. Maybe I would add ash gourd or snake gourd to this, but no other changes would be made. To tell you the truth, this tastes best the way the recipe is listed below. If you want to add nourishment to your meal, it is best to add soup or vegetables on the side.
Kichdi is the best way to detox your body. Detoxification is needed when you are suffering from fever, cold, cough, seasonal allergies, flu or ailments like acidity, indigestion and heartburn. Kichdi is also nourishing when recuperating from viral and bacterial infections. Infact if you have eaten heavy meals during the festive season, this is the food you must eat to cleanse and nourish your body. It is easy to digest and great for all stages and ages in life. One of the highlights of this dish is that it can be cooked throughout the year and is suitable for all the seasons.
According to Ayurveda moong dal is the best dal to use since it is easy to digest and has many positive attributes and nutritional qualities. When Kichdi is made with moong dal, rice and other natural ingredients, it has the properties of "sattva" or purity which helps in detoxyfying and rejuvenating the body which in turn enhances digestion, improves immunity and increases physical and mental strength.
I still remember the first time I had got this recipe right and I was thrilled about it! It was a time when I had finished college and just started to cook. My cousin Vedika who was visiting expressed a desire to eat kichdi and when I made this for her, she was absolutely delighted.
Cooking is an act of love. When you cook for someone, you are connecting with them at a deeper level and it may not be an elaborate dish. A simple and quick dish like kichdi can also be made to express love and bring joy!
Moong Dal Kichdi Recipe
200 gm (1 cup) basmati rice or any rice of your choice
200 gm (1 cup) moong dal
2 tbsp ghee (vegetable oil for a vegan version)
¾ tsp cumin seeds
Indian bay leaf or tej patta
1 tsp whole peppercorn
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 green chili
a sprig of curry leaves
½ tsp asafoetida powder
7 cups water
2 ½ tsp salt or to taste
Place the rice and water in a bowl and wash under running water. You can also soak the rice and moong dal for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a pressure cooker, rice cooker, instant pot or a heavy bottomed pot, heat the ghee on medium flame until it melts. Turn down the heat and then drop in the cumin seeds, bay leaf and peppercorns. After the cumin seeds turn golden brown, put in the ginger, green chili, curry leaves and asafetida powder. Make sure the cumin seeds dont turn black.
Put in the washed rice and moong dal. Add the water and salt, raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Close the lid, turn down the heat to medium low and cook till done.
- If using pressure cooker, pressure cook till one whistle and then turn it off. If the kichdi is watery cook till the kichdi gets a thicker consistency.
- If you want to add vegetables, you can add it to the seasoning.
- If using an instant pot or electric rice cooker, follow the manufacturers instructions.
- Omit the green chili if cooking for an ailing person.