Food & Drink Magazine

Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, Or “Khichdi”

By Thepickyeater @pickyeaterblog

Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”

There are some recipes that are just straight up comfort food.

They invoke emotions of nostalgia, memories of home, and flavors that just take you back to when you were a kid and you could smell dinner cooking in the kitchen.

When I was a kid, we ate Indian food most evenings for dinner at my house. But my parents liked to mix it up and put twists on traditional Indian dishes (e.g. instead of making the traditional Cauliflower Sabji, they’d make one from Butternut Squash or Bok Choy). On an evening when there wasn’t much time to cook, or when we just wanted a light dinner, my mom would make Khichdi.

And recently, when I stayed at my dads a few weeks ago while the husband was traveling through India, my dad made Khichdi for me.

Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”

What is Khichdi? It sounds like a weird word doesn’t it? But it’s actually just an Indian Spiced Rice with Lentils and Vegetables. Kind of like a Faux-Fried version of traditional Asian Fried Rice.

It’s a simple and easy dish that you can literally make in one pot. And of course, it’s amazingly good for you. It’s balanced and light, and is supposed to be detoxifying and cleansing.

And in true form, my parents made Khichadi with a mix of basmati rice and quinoa, and added vegetables like asparagus, green beans, zucchini, and carrots. The texture of the quinoa + rice + lentils gives you the feeling of a fried rice dish, without the added fat and calories. And as an added bonus, you get to experiment with fun Indian spices like Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander in this recipes as well.

I hope you try it at home, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

The Ingredients 

Serves 2

  • 4 Tbsp Basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp Moong dal (lentils)
  • 1 Tbsp quinoa
  • Vegetables: 1 zucchini, diced; 1 carrot, diced; 1 lb asparagus, diced  (Note – you can also try this with Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc – anything you like will work!)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsp Khichdi masala (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • Cilantro, chopped – garnish
  • Optional: onion, garlic, ginger (to taste – I’d use a couple cloves of garlic, 1-2 tsp grated ginger and 1/4 onion for this amount)

Note: if you want to make your own Khichdi Masala from scratch – here are the proportions/ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fennel
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Optional: Serve with 0% unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”
The Directions Step 1: Wash the mixture of rice, moong dal (lentils) and quinoa until all the sediment is gone and the water runs clear.
Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”
Step 2: Chop your veggies. Combine all the ingredients (grains + lentils + vegetables) in a large pot, add the masala. Note: If you want to add the onion / garlic / ginger, saute it in olive oil first and then add it to the pot.
Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”
Step 3: Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for 20-30 minutes until all the water has been absorbed
Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”
I love how it looks when it’s almost ready to eat! Sometimes the rice gets a little browned on the bottom of the pot, which I don’t mind at all because I like it a little crispy.
Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”
Step 4: Garnish with cilantro, serve with yogurt if you like!
Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”
This is great as a light meal, or even as a side dish to serve with other vegetable dishes, and a great Indian spiced lentil soup if you want a bigger dinner. It’s also gluten-free, and can be made vegan if you just omit the yogurt. Any way you make it, it won’t disappoint you, and is super easy to make for any first-time cooks out there!

 

Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi” By Anjali Shah @ The Picky Eater Makes 2 servings

The Ingredients 

  • 4 Tbsp Basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp Moong dal (lentils)
  • 1 Tbsp quinoa
  • Vegetables: 1 zucchini, diced; 1 carrot, diced; 1 lb asparagus, diced  (Note – you can also try this with Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc – anything you like will work!)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsp Khichdi masala (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • Cilantro, chopped – garnish
  • Optional: onion, garlic, ginger (to taste – I’d use a couple cloves of garlic, 1-2 tsp grated ginger and 1/4 onion for this amount)

Note: if you want to make your own Khichdi Masala from scratch – here are the proportions/ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fennel
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Optional: Serve with 0% unsweetened Greek Yogurt  

The Directions Step 1: Wash the mixture of rice, moong dal (lentils) and quinoa until all the sediment is gone and the water runs clear Step 2: Chop your veggies. Combine all the ingredients (grains + lentils + vegetables) in a large pot, add the masala. Note: If you want to add the onion / garlic / ginger, saute it in olive oil first and then add it to the pot. Step 3: Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for 20-30 minutes until all the water has been absorbed Step 4: Garnish with cilantro, serve with yogurt if you like!

 


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