Mung Dal Khichdi (Rice & Mung bean soup)
Winter is definitely the season for comfort foods. I crave hot steaming meals to shoo away the cold. That is exactly the reason for this recipe. Well this is not even a great recipe. But this is something that I can eat everyday, all 365 days of an year! This is my version of the simple mung dal khichdi, an almost soupy consistency, very subtly spiced with cumin seeds and garlic. You don’t even have to serve anything on the side, its a meal by itself. If I’m feeling up to it, I do add some sauteed spinach into this soup, but otherwise, I like it plain and simple. You may also add some vegetables like green peas, cauliflower, carrot and beans, along with the rice and dal.
There are three types of mung dal available in an Indian grocery store, whole with the husk (used to make sprouts), split with the husk and split without the husk. I generally buy the split one without the husk (hence the yellow color). You can also use the split with husk, it is more nutritious. But if you plan on using the whole mung beans, soak them in some water for at least 6 hours before using.
For the Khichdi:
Split Mung dal – 1/2 cup
Rice – 1 cup (use any rice, I use basmati)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Green chilli/Serrano pepper (finely chopped) – 3-4 no.
Ginger (grated) – 1/2 tsp
Tomato (chopped)- 2 small
Water – 4 cups
Salt – to taste
Oil or Ghee – 2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Garlic (chopped)- 3-4 large cloves
Cilantro/Coriander leaves (chopped) – 2-3 Tbsp
Garlic chips – from 2-3 large garlic cloves
Oil infused with red chilli powder
Tip: To make the red chilli oil, just heat 1 Tbsp oil and add 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder. Remove from heat and use as a garnish.
- Wash the dal and the rice. Combine all the ingredients mentioned for the khichdi in a large bowl (that will fit in your pressure cooker). Cook in a pressure cooker for 5-6 whistles.
Tip: I use a pressure cooker to make my khichdi, you can cook yours on stove top also. It will just take longer and you may need to add more water to adjust the consistency. Just simmer all the ingredients in a covered pot until the mung dal and the rice are very tender.
- Once you remove the khichdi from the cooker, use a whisk and mash everything together. The khichdi will thicken as it cools, adjust the consistency to your liking. You can just add some water and salt and boil the khichdi on the stove top. Stir in the cilantro leaves, reserving some for garnish.
- Heat the oil or ghee (my fav). Add the cumin seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in the chopped garlic and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned. Mix the tempering into the khichdi and serve HOT!!
Garnish with chopped cilantro, garlic chips and red chili infused oil.
Tip: To make garlic chips, thinly slice the garlic cloves lengthwise. Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil and fry these garlic slices on low heat until browned lightly and crisp. Drain on paper towels.