Shahjahani Khichdi

shahjahani-khichdi.jpg
Winner of Prevention RD's Cookbook is Alexis @ hummusapien. Email me your address please :)

I often get tricked into ordering food simply because of the way it sounds..I have been a victim at restaurants countless times trying to be adventurous and have landed with something totally different mostly because I get excited and do not read the full description of what the menu item entails.

This bold adventure with food only started a few years ago though. While growing up, I don't think I was a picky eater but didn't care too much for vegetables and disliked anything with mushy textures such as bananas (I still do), puddings, and khichdi, a vegetarian dish with rice and lentils cooked together which is considered a comfort food in Southeast Asia although the recipe varies from one part to another. 

This is one dish I don't recall eating ever although my grandmother made it every now and then because she said it was very soothing to the stomach and makes you feel good if you are sick. The other day, out of nowhere I had an intensive craving for it and after reviewing a dozen of recipes, I settled with Shahjahani Khichdi from here primarily because of the way it sounded and also it did not have 'porridge-like' texture as most khichdis I have seen before.
Curry leaves, not to be confused with curry powder. I get them  at Indian grocery stores.
The process of cooking khichdi is extremely simple if you have a pressure cooker. This recipe uses different spices, cashew nuts, and shredded coconuts which will fill your house with so many aromatic flavors. The use of curry leaves gives a really nice touch to the overall dish. 

I used Basmati rice and black lentils (soaked and rinsed for few hours). The khichdi can be eaten itself, or eaten alongside chicken or a vegetable dish. I had been eying this karahi chicken in a Pakistani manner for such a long time so it was a perfect opportunity to give it a try and quickly sauteed green beans & potatoes with a dash of cumin as another side.

Cooking chicken curry (Indian style) is my worst nightmare and I am never too happy with it..but I give this recipe two thumbs up not only for its deliciousness but I am really amazed how it comes together without using any masalas (spices) except for turmeric powder, ginger, and garlic. I can't say enough about it other than I highly recommend it to you. So give it a try! 

The boyfriend and I savored every bite of this dinner on a quiet Friday night.The only recommendation from the boyfriend was to pick out whole spices from the khichdi to make the eating process less messy.

Shahjahani Khichdi (adapted from here)

enough for 3-4 servings Ingredients 1/2 cup basmati rice (soaked and rinsed for few hours)

1/2 cup black lentils (soaked and rinsed for few hours) 1 tablespoon butter (use vegan butter or vegetable oil for vegan) 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) 2 cloves (whole) 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder 3 whole black pepper 2 teaspoon cardamom powder 4 to 5 curry leaves, fresh 2 tbsp finely chopped onions 2 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon green chili, thinly chopped
1 tbsp sweetened coconut flakes 
2.5 cups hot water salt to taste Directions 
-Drain both rice and lentils then keep aside. - Heat the butter in a pressure cooker over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to pop, add the cloves and black pepper and curry leaves for couple minutes. Add onion, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. - Add the cashewnuts and let it brown a little then add the rice, lentils and 2.5 cups of hot water, coconut, salt and green chilli  mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles. - Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. - Garnish with additional curry leaves or cilantro and serve immediately your choice of sides. 

-Do you guys fall into ordering food that sounds interesting?
-Have you had khichdi before or anything similar to it?