Monday, November 17, 2008
Keeping it simple
Srivalli is back with another of her melas. After roti and curries, it's the turn of rice dishes! For her mela, I have the simplest rice dish in my repertoire. Chana Dal Khichdi, the easiest of comfort foods but also ceremonial. For this is the khichdi we make on bhai dooj, the first thing my brother eats after I put a tilak on his forhead to mark the occasion.
To make chana dal khichdi, boil 1/4 cup chana dal with 1 cup water until it's al dente. I've noticed that 4-5 whistles in the pressure cooker usually does it. While the dal is cooking, wash and soak 1/4 cup rice. Open the pressure cooker and add rice (without any more water, the original one cup is sufficient), 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, a generous pinch of salt and another generous pinch of garam masala. Add a tsp of ghee, close the pressure cooker and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. By this time, you khichdi will be fairly dry and both the rice and dal will be well done. We serve it with plain yogurt, but by all means serve the other traditional accompainments (papad, pickle and chutney) alongside if you like.
Valli, I hope you like this much-loved khichdi as well. Oh! and this is just the first entry. There's more coming your way.