6 Types of Khichdi in India
Khichdi has been an integral part of Indian cuisine for a long time. Easy to make with only a few ingredients, healthy, and easy to digest, this humble dish has satiated hunger and given us the much-needed warmth and comfort when one feels sick. The best thing about Khichdi is that it is a wholesome meal that provides full nourishment to the body.
In fact, many doctors and nutritionists in India recommend having Khichdi for people of all age groups. Since it is made of a combination of healthy ingredients like lentils, rice and sometimes vegetables, it is a protein-rich dish that is known to give your body energy and make you feel full for a long time.
Apart from its health benefits, Khichdi is a versatile dish. Different states have different versions of Khichdi that are made using different ingredients. Let us look at the different types of Khichdi in India and why it changes colours, and taste from state to state.
This delectable dish has a rich history associated with it. It is said that the founder of Ahmedabad city, Sultan Ahmed Shah I was so fond of Khichdi that he used to have it every day. The dish is prevalent all over the state, and different regions within Gujarat have different types of Khichdi; some are savoury, some are sweet. The savoury variety has sub-variants with and without vegetables.
But the most popular form of Gujrati Khichdi is the savoury one that is made with Rice and lentils and served with tangy and sweet Kadi as a side. The combination of Gujarati Khichdi and Kadi is a delight in every sense of the word.
Tamil Nadu is known for its unique culinary culture and many delicious dishes like dosa, idli and vada that are popular all over India. Tamil Nadu has its own version of the humble Khichdi, which the locals call, Pongal.
Unlike other parts of India where Khichdi is eaten for dinner, Pongal is a breakfast meal. Made with a combination of rice, lentils and generous dollops of ghee, it is available in both sweet and savoury versions.
The sweet version, known as Chakkara Pongal is made with the same ingredients but sweetened with the addition of jaggery. The savoury version has grounded or whole black peppers and is tempered with cumin, red chilli and cashew nut.
Probably the only known non-vegetarian Khichdi in India, the Keema Khichdi from Andhra Pradesh was first created by the chefs who worked in the Royal palace of the Nizams. This Khichdi tastes similar to Hyderabadi biryani, however, the cooking method for Khichdi is different from Biryani.
The main ingredients in this Khichdi are lentils, rice, and minced meat, and a whole lot of local spices. The dish is usually served with a tangy or ‘khatta’ side dish known as salan.
Most households in Bihar cook Khichdi over the weekend and on special occasions like Makar Sankranti, a harvest festival that occurs in January. During the festival celebrations, Khichdi is offered to the deity and it is made with ingredients like rice, black gram, ginger, chilli and lots of ghee.
One of the most popular dishes in the state, Bihari Khichdi served with Choka, a dish made with mashed potatoes and eggplant and flavoured with mustard oil sure to make your taste buds dance with joy and make feel full in the tummy and heart.
Like its vibrant and colourful culture, Rajasthan has given a unique twist to the famous food of India, Khichdi. Unlike in other parts of India where Rice is the main ingredient, Rajasthani Khichdi is made of Bajra (millet), and spices.
A staple dish in almost all Rajasthani houses, irrespective of the social status, it is served with a garlic chutney, home-made pickles or yoghurt. If Bajra Khichdi is some fancy restaurant, it may have roasted dry fruits on top as garnish.
When you think of Bengali cuisine, you may think of Kolkata Biryani, Macher Jhol, and Rosogolla, right? But, Bengal has its own version of Khichdi, which the locals call Kichuri. Unlike other types of Khichdi, this dish has a more porridge-like texture.
It is made with rice, moong dal, ghee and ginger. Many people like to have plain Khichdi, some like to add vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and peas to it, which adds to the taste and flavour of the dish. Generally, in most Bengali homes, people like to have Kichuri for dinner as it is light yet fulfilling.
There you have different varieties of Khichdi from different states in India. Each type has a unique taste and flavour. But all types of Khichdi have one thing in common – they are delicious.