Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.
Bajra, or pearl millet, is a gluten-free grain that can serve as a healthy alternative to wheat or rice. Nearly any dish that is typically prepared with wheat or rice can also be made with bajra. Use it either as a whole grain or grind it coarsely to make a flour.
Today we are going to prepare a savory porridge using bajra. It is a healthy, gluten-free dish you can enjoy for breakfast or lunch with some curd, yoghurt or homemade ghee and some pickle.
Try it and share your experience.
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For the khichdi:
- 1/2 cup / 100 grams bajra (pearl millet)
- 1/2 cup / 100 grams chilke wali moong dal (split mung beans with skin)
- 2 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- 1 whole green chilli, slit on one side
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1/4 tsp heeng (asafoetida powder)
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups water
For the tadka (tempering):
- 1 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tsp roasted jeera (cumin seed powder)
- 1/4 tsp kali mirch (black pepper powder)
- Soak the bajra in water for 5-6 hours; then drain out the water, spread it on a thick napkin and pat dry. Transfer to a grinder jar. Using the pulse mode, coarsely grind it giving 1-2 second pulses 2 or 3 times. Remove and set aside.
- Soak the moong dal for 15 minutes, drain out the water and set aside.
- Keep a pressure cooker on low heat. Add the desi ghee and let it melt. Add the jeera and heeng; let the jeera crackle.
- Add in the green chilli and ginger paste. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the coarsely ground bajra and moong dal. Mix well. Add the salt and stir-roast for about 2 minutes.
- Add the water and stir well. Raise the heat to high and put on the lid. At the first whistle reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes; then put off the heat.
- Open the cooker when the pressure subsides. The khchdi should be ready. If the khichdi is too thick, add some water. If it is too thin, cook it longer until the consistency is to your liking. Just keep in mind that bajra absorbs as it cools, so the khichdi will become a bit thicker. You can thin it by adding water.
- Transfer the khichdi to a serving dish and prepare the tadka (tempering).
- In a tadka pan add the desi ghee and let it melt. Add in the roasted jeera powder and black pepper powder. Let it cook for a few seconds, then pour it on the khichdi and stir a few times.
- Serve with dahi (curd), safed makhan (homemade unsalted butter) or dollops of desi ghee and pickle.
Bajra Khichdi Recipe (Savory Pearl Millet Porridge)
© 2022 Rajan Singh Jolly