Friday, April 20, 2007

Ek Khichri, Ek Raita :)

If i were to ask you, what would you like to have for a comfort food, i am sure the votes would mostly go to different combos of lentils and rice-either cooked together as khichri or cooked separately and served together like daal-chawal :). Be it the good old daal chawal or the different style of khichris cooked plain or with veggies, bland or with spices (the most common khichri that i make), bisi-bele baath, Ven Pongal.....the list goes on. Khichri, my dear, is an all time comfort food.....the comfort reminding me of the Mom's hug and the way she used to feed me when i was lil'. and all those lovely childhood tales that go with such yummy food.....Khichri converts even the most unsuspecting folks into sneaking an extra helping into their platters :).

Our folk lore is full of stories to strengthen this claim. Sample this one, for instance.....in this story, the humble sparrow (the bird thats often portrayed as completely sharif and honest) tries to gobble up her partner crow's share too! So, once upon a time a chidiya (sparrow) and kauwa (crow) set about to make khichri-chidiya brought the daal and kauwa brought the rice. Together the dished out the most amazing khichri ever. Now, the chidiya was really drooling and impatient.....and a bit greedy, secretly thinking of gobbling some of the kauwa's share too. and her impatience leads her to open the steaming hot khichri vessel.....scalding her tail!! She goes chin, chin mera poonjha sadiya (chin, chin my tail's burnt) and the kauwa goes "kyon paraya khichhar khadha" (why did you gobble someone else's khichhar).....you get the picture!

Today, i'll share a favorite khichri of mine. Mom used to make it all the time-and i suspect that it is inspired by Gujarati Cuisine given its pulaav like consistency (because Punju khichris are usually more liquidy, and my Mom lived in Gujarat for a long time-so, put the two together and it gives me the possible origins). So, today we'll make the chana daal khichri and lauki ka raita to go with it :). Dumela reminds me about a close cousin, a Multani daal-pulaav called Phunakni. Phunakni is usually made with chana daal or split peas (matar daal) and sometimes even with chana! jeera, tej patta and moti-elaichi are used for spicing (the way i've eaten it). Unlike the khichri above though, the rice grains are still separate and not mushy. So in a way we Punjus have a cousin of this khichri :). Thanks Dumela.....it reminded me of some nice old times.....


For Khichri, we need:

  • 3/4 cup rice ( i used basmati, but other Sona masoori goes well too)
  • 1/2 cup chana daal (washed and preferably soaked for 1 hr.)
  • 1/2 tsp. Jeera
  • 4-5 laungs (lavangs, cloves)
  • 1 tsp. melted ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 and 1/4 cups water
Wash the rice and add the soaked chana daal to it and set aside. In melted ghee, splutter the jeera. Add the daal chawal mix, cover with water, add the salt and cloves. Pressure cook for two whistles. Let the cooker cool down and its ready :). That simple. It should turn out like pulaav .

But wait, khichri needs her companions! In Punjabi we say, "Khichri de ne chaar yaar, ghyo, dahi, papad te achaar", describing khichri's four companions: Ghyo (ghee), dahi, papad and pickle. So, here goes. Lets make some ghiye da raita (lauki/doodhi, bottle gourd raita). This is one of my favorite ways to relish ghiya, and the humble raita is lifted to great heights with the use of black pepper and green chillies.



For ghiye da raita, we need:

  • One small bottle gourd
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder, coriander powder and ground black pepper
  • 1-2 chopped green chillies
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 1 and 1/2 cup beaten yogurt.
Grate the bottle gourd (you can include the peel too). Next step is to steam the grated ghiya. You can steam it in the pressure cooker or turn to your microwave. So, place the grated ghiya in a microwavable vessel, sprinkle some water (1 tbsp. or so), cover and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Cool it down. Mix the beaten yogurt in. Stir in the spice powders, salt and chopped green chillies. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice or your choice. If you don't like very spicy food, don't chop the chillies. Just slit them into two, remove seeds and mix with the raita to let the flavor (but not heat) of the chillies blend in.



I served the khichri with raita, mirchi achaar and papad. Enjoy :).

Next:
  • M for Mooli-wadi sabzi
  • Pretty, healthy and delicious: A Raita
  • Aloo-gobhi
  • Arbi-bataun (baingan) di sabzi
  • Upma Fan Club

26 comments:

Richa said...

khichri te raite di gall ekdum hit ne te odey charo yaar pasand ne. it sure is a comfort food to so many and has so many variations, yours looks Yum-O! kauwe te chidiya di kahani kadi purani nai hundi! tusi chidiya ud khed de sige?
thanks for detailing this combo, a complete meal in itself ;-)
btw mere methi de fav combos thuadde lai list kitte ne, jo marji khilana ;-)

Asha said...

Loved the little chidiya story M!:D

Good that you made your kichdi and eating too.Punjabi kichadi sounds like Italian Risotto!!With ghiya raita, the combo looks and sounds fabulous.Wish I could come over for some.

My dinner today is rice rotis,long beans palya and Badnekai pachadi.

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday.Hugs:))

Sig said...

Musie, I have never had khichri, but ur description and the story is giving me serious cravings now...

Manjula said...

I am always looking for recipes with Chana dal. Kichri looks good.

musical said...

Richa:

He he, yup i used play chidi-ud too :). Chidiyas are so much a part of the folk-lore aren't they.....and i loved your different methi combos, especially the besan methi. completely agree on the methi chopping business. I'll make the besan methi for us :-D.

Ashakka:

Sending hot khichri, raita, achaar and papad your way: while you send me some badnekai pachadi and beans :). This khichri is similar to risotto, but this one is nto Punjabi. Punju khichris have the consistency of Bisi-bele baath or Pongal. Catch you on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend.

hugs to you too,
musical.

Sig:

Yup! Its a must try. talk about cravings.....i had a light lunch (some melon and a cpl. of bread bites).....and i am going through some serious hunger pangs!

musical said...

Hey Manjula:

Glad to know you like Chana dal. Whats your favorite chana daal recipe/dish.

Anita said...

That's the only way my MIL liked ghia! Good it really is.

Chana dal khichri looks great. You're right, ghee uplifts the humble khitchri to a different level altogether.

The Hydrabadi qabooli uses the same main ingredients but is no khichri! I'll write about it some time - amongst TH's favourite pulaos.

Coffee said...

When I read the title what first came to my mind is that song..... ek titli anek titliyan...... hahaha

Nice story on chidiya and kauwa :)

You are right, gujju's make this kind of khichri which has that thick texture to it...... but we also make the watery kinds..... both taste very different though. :)

I likes your way of making the raita with lauki.... :)

TRS said...

aha...the ultimate soul food- khichdi...enough to cure what ails you anytime! I liked your version with chana daal...I use toor dal mostly,and sometimes, moong daal....and the idea of a raita instead of plain dahi is even better!
Served with crispy papad and hot mango pickle...you can't beat it.

that mirchi acchar sure looks good!
lovely ji lovely!!
K is coming back tomorrow..*blush*
:)
hugs,trupti

TRS said...

Chin chin..meri pooch jal gayi..."
hahhahahahahahah....dumbarse chidiya.

"Chin chin chin...mujhe kauwa-chidiya ki kahani bahut pasand ayi.."

trupti

Swapna said...

This chidiya kauwa story is so cute:)..This combo of rice and chana daal sounds interesting..the raita looks fab..Have not tried anything with bottle gourd till now..

musical said...

Anita:

i completely agree with you about ghee, and i believe that ghiya raita is the best way to enjoy ghiya :-D.
i am looking forward to the qabooli recipe :). i know that in UP, they have Tahiri with daal, rice and vegetables (not the Kashmiri Taher, but the similarity of the names and the color of these two dishes is very similar).

Coffee:

Thats called brainwave :-D. i too thought about ek titli, anek titliyaan and ek chidiya, anek chidiyaan song! i am glad my guess was right about the origins of this khichri-actually it wasn't a random guess.....Mom did call it Gujarati khichri. and i agree, liquidy and pulaav like khichris taste very different, but equally delicious :). i am glad you liked the raita idea-its very traditional Punju and UP raita.....and i believe variants exist in other Indian subcultures too.

musical said...

Trupti:

He he, sharmili babe is blushing ;).
i agree-khichri does comfort a lot! i love moong-daal khichri too :). and i agree mango pickle is totally different :).

aren't the childhood stories cute :).

hugs to you too dear,
surili


Hey Swapna:

Do try the ghiya raita-you'll not be disappointed at all! am glad you enjoyed the story :).

Reena said...

muse, just like coffee i too thought about 'ek titli anek titaliyan' aftter reading your title:)):)). khichdi looks yum and i agree with you even with all those new dishes we try there are some simple things which just stays close to heart and khichdi, daal-chawal is one of them. that chidiya kahaani is so cute. good that aapne apni khichdi khud hi banayi aur chakhi:)):))

musical said...

Reena:

he he, and just like the two of you, i thought of the same :-D. i agree with every words of yours.....and you said it so eloquently and beautifully!

haan yaar, apni khichdi khud banao to theek hai, then nobody would mind me going for extra helpings :)).

Dumela said...

hey musical

in my dad's multani household, this traditional kichri is called 'phunakni'... i always thot it's traditional punjabi... dont know now

musical said...

Dumela,

Hey, you know Phunakni too. Feels so good to hear that! Phunakni is very similar, but we use turmeric in it! and is spicier than this, with tej-patta and moti elaichi (atleast the version i know). And sometimes phunakni also uses dried matar daal (split peas)or chana. More like a daal-pulaav (so rice is still separate).While in this khichri-daal and rice are softer, more like khichri. Good for reminding me that, will update the post.

Phunakni is Punjabi :).

bee said...

ghia raita is new to me. will def. try this. don't blame that sparrow. khichdi is hard to resist.

musical said...

He he, Bee, the Ghia raita is equally irrisistible :).

Sandeepa said...

Great story for a great Khichri
Ek Titli..anek Titliyan :)
Ek Kihcdi..anek khaniyan :)

Sandeepa said...

Oh and I like that chaar yaar, that is a must in our home too. But I the lover of eggs, love to have an omlette with Kihicdi

musical said...

He he, Sandeepa-that was a good rhyme :). aha! so you love omlette with khichri. i love my Bengali style khichri with phulkopi and papad.

Anonymous said...

I love your food blog. I love kichadi, i cook it all the time. I never added ghee in raita. I should try it. I love lauki ki raita.

Do you have any good recipe for chana daal? Mine never comes out good. It taste really bland, it taste worse than moong or toor daal.

Thank you.
P.S. I can't wait for your aloo lauki sabji recipe. I have been craving it for a while.

musical said...

Anon,

Thanks! I have never heard of ghee in the raita! i wrote about adding ghee in the khichri.....and ghiya (which is lauki) in raita.....

i have a chana daal recipe here (with lauki/ghiya).you might wanna try that.

I have an aloo-baingan recipe coming up, not aloo-lauki (though i make it sometime)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, i read the article and typed too fast.

I confused ghiya to ghee. Sorry.
Next:
M for Mooli-wadi sabzi
Pretty, healthy and delicious: A Raita
Aloo-gobhi

I meant to say Aloo-gobhi recipe, Sorry.

I saw your recipe of Chana daal with lauki/ghiya. I am going to try that.
Thanks

musical said...

Hey anon,

he he, happens :).

i love that ghiya-chana daal-do try it. hope you enjoy it!