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5 varieties of khichdi from around the country

Bisi Bele Bhath is a special khichdi due to more than one reason. It is made with Toor dal instead of the customary moong dal. However, the primary difference in flavors is because of a unique masala mix that contains a balance of 30 spices.

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Khichdi, a one-pot meal is one of the favorite comfort foods in India. The rice and lentil preparation is a complete dish and is very healthy as well.  For the unversed, the name is derived from a Sanskrit word called Khicca which means a dish of rice and legumes. The best part is that it is gluten-free and can be made vegan by replacing ghee with oil. This dish is usually served with a dollop of ghee and pickle on the side. However, there are several accompaniments as well such as buttermilk, kadhi, raita/ curd, chopped onions, or papad.

Many prefer khichdi with a thick porridge consistency while many like it is slightly thinner. Usually, it is prepared in a pressure cooker, however, you can also prepare it in a pot. To make it nutritious, one can add veggies such as green peas, potatoes, carrots, beans, cauliflower, capsicum, or any veggie of your choice. Speaking of the most commonly eaten variant, the Moong Dal Khichdi is what many people prepare on the usual basis. As per Ayurveda, moong is recommended as it is super healthy, easy to digest, and also balances all three doshas (Kapha, Pitta & Vata). So, when you are unwell or your stomach is upset, you can go for this dish.

You must have noticed that this popular dish is one of the recipes that most Indian students learn when they go abroad to study as it is not only quite easy to prepare but also nutritious.  So, you just need to add a few veggies, masalas, rice, and dal to your pressure cooker. And voila! your wholesome meal is ready. Can anything get simpler? If you think Khichdis are boring and blandbland, then you are wrong. Several yummy Khichdi varieties from around the country will leave you wanting more. Read below!

Tamil Nadu’s Pongal

This khichdi from Tamil Nadu is usually made during the celebrations of the harvest season. Pongal is made with lentils, rice, and a lot of pure ghee. It is available in both spicy and sweet versions. Sweet or Chakkara Pongal is loaded with roasted dry fruits and offered to deities during puja. On the other hand, savory or Melangu Pongal is a little spicy with a rich garnishing of powdered pepper.

Andhra’s Keema Khichdi

This is the only non-vegetarian version of khichdi on this list. The credit for creating this keema khichdi goes to the Nizams of Hyderabad. It tastes similar to biryani that comes from the same region; however, it is cooked differently. The main ingredients in this khichdi are rice, lentils and, ground meat. ‘Khatta’ is a tangy side dish somewhat similar to a salon, that is typically served with this khichdi.

Gujarati Khichdi

The founder of Ahmedabad, Sultan Ahmed Shah I is said to be so fond of this khichdi that he used to eat it every single day. The dish is so prevalent in the state that it comes in different forms such as without and with vegetables or savory and sweet varieties. No matter the type of khichdi you prefer, it will always be served with a bountiful helping of sweet Gujarati kadhi.

Karnataka’s Bisi Bele Bhath

Bisi Bele Bhath is a special khichdi due to more than one reason. It is made with Toor dal instead of the customary moong dal. However, the primary difference in flavors is because of a unique masala mix that contains a balance of 30 spices. This spice mix gives the khichdi a distinctly savory taste. It is loaded with a variety of vegetables and served with a generous drizzling of desi ghee.

Bihari Khichdi

Many people in the state cook khichdi every Saturday. Bihari khichdi gains even more popularity during the Makar Sankranti celebrations. It is also offered as prasad in the puja. Made with ingredients like rice, ginger, chilies, moong dal, urad dal (black gram), and tempering of asafoetida and ghee, this Bihari dish tastes heavenly. It is enjoyed with chokha, a dish made with mashed potatoes and brinjal flavored with mustard oil, chilies and raw onion, papad, and achaar.