Recipe: Khichdi – Rice and Lentils

Khichdi (khi-cha-Ri) has always been a staple in our household as well as any other Punjabi growing up, as it is nutritious, filling, delicious, and full of protein. This one pot meal is easy and simple to make, and can be fed to babies when they are ready to have solids. I’d recommend this around the age of 7 months (initially pureed) onwards. After 12 months feel free to add salt as it makes it taste sooo much better! Baby M, now 16 months old, loves his khichdi, as I can make this meal for him 3-4 times a week. Not only that, it seriously is easy to prepare, make, transport and eat on the go, and fast to cook – perfect for a modern mama who needs to time to do other things (shower, check social media, etc) without feeling guilty of not having prepared her baby a healthy meal. šŸ˜‰

Before I get into the recipe – lets just get to the basics here. You can alter this recipe in any way by adding to it some spices that dont upset the stomach (I’ll list those at the end), adding vegetables, or varying the types of rice (brown vs white). Also, this doesnt have to be followed exact to measurement. Sometimes I like to add more lentils than rice, or other times more rice than lentils.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white basmati rice
    • I like using basmati as it is thin and not sticky. Its easy to cook, and easy to digest vs jasmine rice, and brown rice for infants and toddlers
  • 1/4 cup yellow Moong daal lentilsyellow split mung dal, moong dal
    • Yellow moongi daal is the best daal to use for babies, as it is easy in digestion and does not cause gas. You can change the daal when your baby is older. I’d stick with yellow and orange colored ones though as they are easy on the system.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 clove of garlic or one small piece of ginger cut (optional – will help in digestion)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (again optional – not for use before 9 months)
  • ghee (1-3 tbsp)
  • simple vegetables (optional – small carrots, onions, sweet potato, etc)

Directions:

  • Place the rice and lentils in a pot and wash it out with water at least twice to remove all starch and gunk
  • add the measured water
  • add in the garlic, ginger, spices (a little tumeric I like to put in sometimes), salt (only if your baby is older than one!), vegetables
  • You turn up the temperature on high until the water comes to boil
  • Once it is boiling, lower the heat to 2-4 stirring occasionally
  • If the consistency gets too thick, add more water
    • Cook for 15 minutes at least so that the rice and lentils mush together. The consistency is up to you. I liked to make it a little watery and love it mushy for baby M. Now as he is older, he can chew and its ok to make it a little thicker.
  • If you choose to use a pressure cooker – give it five good whistles or let it run its course under full pressure for 10 minutes. img_6169
  • When it is at the desired consistency, add 1 tbsp ghee or butter
    • recipe for ghee coming soon!
  • Let it cool, and feed! You can keep this in the fridge for a maximum of two days. Make small portions, as you want to give your kid fresh food!

 

Some variations of recipes you can make for Khichdi:

  1. rice, lentils, salt, ghee
  2. rice, lentils, salt, tumeric (1/4 tsp), cumin seeds, ghee
  3. rice, lentils, salt, carrots, ghee
  4. rice, lentils, salt, tumeric, black pepper
  5. …you get the point
  6. …you can also blend it in a nutribullet or blender to make it more of a puree for the younger ones initially

Tips:

  1. Cook the rice and daal so that it is mashed up – helps in digestion. If you see distinct rice and daal pieces, add more water, and cook longer
  2. Wash wash wash the rice and daal!
  3. Better for lunch vs dinner – but I use it for either or meal.
  4. This is not a constipating dish! woohoo!

 

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