Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He likes to share his favourite recipes with his online readers.
Millets are traditional seeds that were commonly consumed the world over, especially before wheat and rice became popular. They are coarse grains and not very popular in spite of the fact that they are much healthier than wheat or rice. In the West they are frequently used in birdseed mixes, but in the semi-arid areas of Africa and Asia they remain an important food crop.
Khichdi is a popular dish in India that is typically prepared with white rice and lentils. In this recipe, instead of rice, we are using a variety of millet called foxtail.
Millets need at least six to eight hours of soaking time before they can be cooked. This is because of their high fibre content, which requires that the seeds completely absorb water so as to not cause digestion issues. Millets are an alkaline food, low on the glycemic index and gluten free. These characteristics make it a great option for diabetics and those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.
Millets can be cooked just like rice or made into flour. In India, we make roti (flatbread) with it.
Do try this yummy and healthy millet khichdi and share your experience.
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About 2 servings
- 1 cup foxtail millet (or any millet of your choice), soaked overnight in 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp moong dal (yellow dal), soaked in water for 2-3 hours
- 1 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
- 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- 1 small onion, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 10-15 kadhi patta (curry leaves)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup green peas
- 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped carrot
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 additional cup water, total 2 cups of water, including soaking water for the millet
- 1 tbsp chopped hara dhania (cilantro)
- 1 tbsp desi ghee, for garnish
- Set a pan on low heat. Add the desi ghee and let it get hot.
- Add in the rai and jeera and let them crackle
- Add in the chopped onion and stir a few times. Then add the ginger paste, curry leaves and turmeric powder. Saute until the ginger and onion are roasted.
- Add in the chopped tomato and cook until it turns soft.
- Add the green peas, chopped carrot and chopped bell pepper. Stir a few times. Add the salt and red chilli powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the soaked foxtail millet along with the soaking water as well as the soaked lentils without the water. Add in the additional water as well. Stir and close the pressure cooker. Raise the heat to high and give 3 whistles then put off the heat.
- Open the cooker when the pressure subsides and check the consistency. If it is too thin, continue cooking until it thickens. If it's too thick add some more water and cook it a bit until done.
- Garnish with some desi ghee and serve with plain yoghurt or pickle (or on its own).
- The ratio of millet to lentils should always be 4:1.
- Do not discard the millet soaking water as it contains many vitamins and minerals.
- Millets need to be soaked for a minimum of 6-8 hours. Overnight soaking, if possible, is best.
Millet Khichdi Recipe
© 2021 Rajan Singh Jolly