I love one pot meals and specially rice varieties. Biryani, pulao and fried rice are on top of that list. When I need to fix something for myself, moong dal khichdi or pongal is one of my goto food and sometimes I keep this instant pongal mix handy in the fridge for such days.
This time I made khichdi slightly different from the usual fare by adding some vegetables to make it a wholesome meal. My third recipe with moong dal, for this Cooking Carnival, Cooking with Protein Rich Ingredients is moong dal vegetable rice or khichdi.
There are many versions of khichdi across the Indian subcontinent and each state and region has their own version with minor differences. Moong dal khichdi is often given to people who are recovering from an illness or for patients who have undergone surgeries. Since moong dal is very light on stomach, it is often recommend. It is also one of the solid foods given to babies when they first start solids. Consistency of khichdi is soft and mushy and somewhat like a porridge. At home, we are not fond of mushy rice and hence I usually keep the rice on a grainy side.
Back home, at my place chana dal khichdi or pappu annam was more common than moong dal khichdi. I use to make chana dal khichdi once in awhile and have not made it in sometime. In that version, black peppercorns are not used and it is prepared somewhat like a bagara/pulao where whole garam masala spices are used. I made today’s khichdi similar to that but used moong dal and added some vegetables as well. In this version, the rice is not mushy.
The best way to cook khichdi is in a pressure cooker. Dump everything in cooker and cook. That is what I usually do when I cook it for myself. However, this time I made it in a rice cooker. I sauteed the vegetables and rice on stovetop and then transferred it to a rice cooker. I used 1:2 rice+dal : water ratio and for even more grainier rice texture, 1: 1 ½ ratio can also be used.
Total Time: 1 hour
Soak Time: 30 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: 2 – 3
- 1 ½ cups Rice (I used basmati. Can use sona masoori)
- ½ cups Moong Dal ~ Green Gram ~ Pesaru Pappu
- 3 tbsp. Oil
- 4-5 Cardamoms
- 2-3 Cloves
- ¼” Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Bay Leaves
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Cumin Seeds or Shah Jeera
- 1 small Onion, sliced
- 6 Green Chilies, sliced (adjust to heat tolerance level)
- 1 tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- 12 Green Beans, cut into ¼ to ½” pieces or ¾ cup cut beans
- 1 medium sized Carrot, diced or ¾ cup diced carrots
- 1 small – medium sized Tomato, chopped or ¾ cup chopped tomatoes
- ¼ tsp. Turmeric
- ¾ – 1 tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 4 cups Water
- Wash rice, dal and soak for 30 minutes. Can soak them together.
- Cut the vegetables and keep ready.
- When rice is soaked for 20 minutes, take 4 cups of water in a rice cooker and turn it on. By the time vegetables and rice are sautéed, water will come to a boil. This step is optional.
- Take a frying pan and heat oil to saute the vegetables. Start this step 20 minutes after the rice is soaked.
- When oil is hot, add whole spices; cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and let the seeds toast in oil.
- Add onions and saute until onions are light brown.
- Add green chilies, ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell of ginger dissipates.
- Add beans, carrots and saute for a minute or two.
- Add turmeric and stir.
- Add salt, tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Discard water and add soaked rice + dal. Saute for a minute or 2 until rice is lightly fried.
- Transfer the rice mixture to rice cooker in which water was boiling. If you did not put water to boil, that is ok. Add room temperature water.
- Add chopped cilantro, stir, cover and let the rice cook.
- Once the cooker shuts off, let the rice rest for 10-15 minutes before opening.
- Fluff up the rice and serve hot with some pickle, omelet, raita or a gravy curry. I served it with some goat curry for Mr U. I ate it with some pickle and raita.
- Rice Dal Ratio – I used 3:1 rice to dal ratio. If one prefers more dal, 2:1 rice to dal ratio can be used.
- Vegetables – I used carrots, beans and tomatoes. Potatoes and spinach also tastes good.
- Substitute for Moong Dal – Toor dal or Chana dal is also a good substitute. With chana dal, I usually do not add any vegetables.
- Consistency – Khichdi usually has a soft and mushy rice. We don’t like very soft rice and hence added less water. For more soft, mushy and porridge like consistency, add more water.