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A recipe to make khichdi exciting with millets

If you have just started using millets, you must explore options where you can easily bring them into your menu. The challenge is, because these grains are new to you, you may not get the desired taste by simply following traditional recipes. Which is why, I have been stressing on millet rotis, parathas, dosas and today, khichdi. These are an integral part of Indian households and if you love Indian food, you would enjoy reading this column today.

Once your basics of cooking with millets are clear, there is no limit to improvising and making them as exotic as you want. The millet journey has reached 24 countries, and I have learnt that no matter where you live, what your dietary patterns are, you want to come back to your comfort meals.

Khichdi, for instance, is an absolute comfort meal. It is nothing but a mix of grain and lentils. But the trick is, how much of what to put, and how creative we can get in serving the final platter. Read more for this simple-yet-interesting way to make khichdi.

Millet khichdi paired with almond bell pepper dip, millet protein bites and poured a lot of flavoured oil on top of it. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)

EXOTIC MILLET KHICHDI

Ingredients (serves 4)

· ½ cup foxtail millet (soaked for 6-8 hours)

· ¾ cup whole moong dal (soaked for 12 hours)

· 1 cup steamed veggies (Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Turnip)

· Finely chopped bell peppers

· 2 tbsp infused garlic chilli oil

· 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

· 1 tsp cumin seeds

· ½ tsp turmeric

· A pinch of heeng (asafoetioda)

· Rock salt to taste

· 2 cups water to cook

Method

1. A traditional khichdi recipe calls for ghee, but here I decided to work on flavours that can make it a little more interesting. In a pressure cooker, heat olive oil, add cumin seeds, heeng, followed by millet and dal (thoroughly washed and soaked). Add adequate water, almost 2 cups for this quantity. Cook it on medium low flame for 10-15 minutes and allow the steam to de-pressure naturally.

2. Meanwhile, you can steam many seasonal veggies. I used carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes. You can even use peas, beetroot, mushrooms, broccoli, corn, etc.

3. Separately chop some veggies like red and yellow peppers, something you would love as crunchy toppings.

4. Now, once the khichdi is done at perfect consistency, start plating it as shared in the video attached. You just have to make sure you add all the veggies without making it look boring.

5. I paired my khichdi with almond bell pepper dip, millet protein bites and poured a lot of flavoured oil on top of it.

6. Once all the elements are added, enjoy your khichdi hot. Make sure you experiment more with different combinations of dips and starters. Always remember to keep it colourful, healthy and fresh. Make sure you have fun with millet, even if it’s millet khichdi.

(Shalini Rajani is a millet coach and founder of Crazy Kadchi. She holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.)

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