Monday, March 8, 2010

Masala Kichadi

Have you ever compared how fast you could get your cooking done before having kids? It is a completely different story when the kids are infants. You can still carry them and cook in one hand. Once they start moving around it is an entirely different story. And once they learn to climb things successfully, it kind of gets worse. One of my kid gets on the counter stools and gets into everything on the kitchen counter. This adventure of hers made me spend half an hour cleaning up the mess she created. (Imagine turmeric everywhere on the white counter and white floor) And when you spend so much time cleaning, your food preparation time gets compromised and I had to make something quick and easy to keep food on the table on time.

In my first job a decade ago, we would all eat lunch together trying to taste different dishes from different kitchens. One of the colleague had brought what she called 'Pongal' which was not like any 'pongal' I was used to. It had onions, and spices. But it tasted damn good. I asked her how it was made and she had told whatever she knew. You see, she never entered kitchen to make something in her house. I kind of remembered the basics and once I started cooking by myself, made up this 'Masala Kichadi'. We like this kichadi not to be too mushy, so if you like it mushy, add more water and cook for longer.

Here it goes..

  • Long grain rice - 1 1/2 cup (Or any other rice with high starch content will do)
  • Moong dal - 1/2 cup.
  • Onions - 1 big or 3 little chopped into chunks
  • Cilantro - chopped about 1/4 cup
  • salt - to taste
  • Pepper corns - about a tsp or more
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 4 TBSP
  • Cinnamon stick - 1 inch piece
  • Cardamom - 2 - 3 whole
  • Cloves - 5 -6 
  • Water - 4 - 6 cups depending on desired consistency of the end product
  • Turmeric - a big pinch
To grind into paste without adding water
  • Green chillies - 10 - 12
  • Garlic pods - 3- 4 
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch piece

Take a pressure cooker. Dry roast moong dal till nice aroma comes. Add it to the bowl containing rice and let them soak in water together. Heat oil in the same pressure cooker pan. When hot, add cumin, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and the ground paste. Saute for a minute and then add chopped onions. Add turmeric, salt and stir and let it cook stirring occasionally. When onions are cooked, drain the soaked dal and rice and add it to the pan. Stir and add water. Check for the salt. Let it come to a full boil and then close the pressure cooker lid. Don't put the weight yet. When the steam starts coming out of the weight opening in steady stream, put the weight on and lower the flame. Let it cook till one whistle if you want it dry or 3 whistles if you want it mushy. When the pressure is released, remove the lid and mix well. Serve with any kind of chutney, gojju, raita or plain yogurt and pickle.

I apologize for the bad pictures (not that my photography is great or anything), but these pictures did not come out good at all.

Happy Cooking!! Pin It


  1. Masala Kichadi looks different and yummy! I agree how having a baby changes everything! I try to finish up my cooking before my son wakes up from his nap!

  2. masala khichadi looks so healthy and yumm:)

  3. Masal khichdi looks so delicious and tasty..;))

  4. Very different khichadi, sounds wholesome...

  5. Makkalu idda kade haage ri! I can imagine how you would have felt while cleaning! Masala Khicdhi recipe chennagide!


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