I have been asked innumerable times as to what one can do with millets. Well for a start, one can do everything that one can do with regular rice and then some more.
I have been working with the Govt of Karnataka, Dept of Agriculture to promote awareness of their upcoming Organics and Millet International Trade Fair Jan 19-21, 2018 (OMITF2018), on Social Media.
While I should have had several millet recipes on my blog by now, extreme mutli tasking and being involved in other millet related activities, have kept me from posting even a single one.
But the time has now come to rectify that because the OMITF2018 is fast approaching. So I am going to jump right into the pot and create one of the easiest dishes that one can make with millets, the Khichdi.
Khichdi is the quickest one pot meal that one can rustle up in a hurry and its inherent mushiness spares one the pressure of getting the texture right (though one does use Pressure to get it done 😀 ). There is of course the stress of getting it to look pretty and we know how hard that can be with Mush 😀
Most other rice based dishes are texture sensitive and hence require greater care in preparation.
While rice and dal would be sufficient as the main ingredients, an addition of mixed, chopped vegetables will only serve to enhance its nutritive value, which of course would work out well since the khichdi is also used as an easily digestible food for invalids.
As with many rice based recipes, there are several variants of the khichdi too.
The khichdi that I have made here blindly substitutes regular rice with Barnyard millets and retains all the other usual ingredients and the method too.
Barnyard Millet Khichdi –
Prep time – 15 mins
Cooking time – 10-15 mins
Serves 3-4 people
Barnyard millet rice – 1/2 cup
Split yellow mung dal (green gram dal) – 1/4 cup
Hot water – 5 cups
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Fresh chillies slit – to taste (approx 4)
Salt – to taste (approx 1 tsp)
For the seasoning –
Cooking oil (ghee for non vegan) – 2 tbs
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Jeera (cumin) seeds – 1/2 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
Onion finely sliced – 1 medium
Tomato finely chopped – 1 large
Garlic jammed – 5 cloves
Ginger chopped – 1/2 inch piece
Mixed vegetables diced small – 1 cup
(carrots, beans, peas, potatoes etc)
Whole spices – cardamom 1, cloves 3, cinnamon 1 inch
For garnish –
Coriander leaves finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Fresh red chillies
Curry leaf powder – a pinch
Cashew nuts raw or toasted in oil
1. Wash the millet and dal together 2-3 times or till the water runs clear. Be careful while draining the water because you can lose many of the tiny millets if you are not careful. Drain and keep aside.
2. Heat the ghee or oil in a pressure cooker or large pressure pan and add the mustard, cumin and hing. If adding whole spices, do it now. Add the garlic, ginger, onion and chilli and fry on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomato and fry for another 2 minutes.
3. Reduce the flame, and add millet and dal and mix till all the grains are coated with oil. If adding vegetables, do it at this stage.
3. Stir in the water, salt and turmeric. Close the lid of the cooker and place the weight. Cook on a high flame for 2-3 whistles or for 3 minutes after the cooker starts making a noise (depending on your cooker).
4. Let the pressure release on its own. Mix well and serve. You may add more water and give it another boil at this stage if you find the consistency too thick.
If you find it watery, you can boil it for a bit till the extra liquid evaporates. Khichdi is supposed to be runny.
1. Any of the Minor millets can be used but the smaller graines ones blend in better. They all have approximately the same cooking time when pressure cooked.
2. Prior soaking of the millets and dal is not necessary while using the pressure cooker.