Prawns Khichdi to Vada Pav Millet Khichdi: End your day with comforting, delicious and easy-to-make Bambaiyya khichdi recipes

21 February,2024 09:00 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Aakanksha Ahire

If you are someone who can’t resist a nice spicy khichdi, we have city chefs sharing some tasty and easy-to-cook khichdi recipes for you to try

Truffle Mushroom Khichdi. Photo Courtesy: Novotel Mumbai International Airport

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A well-cooked gooey khichdi drizzled with pure ghee with a spicy and tangy pickle on the side tastes heavenly. In many Indian households, khichdi is mostly prepared when someone from the family falls sick or when the family runs out of groceries. This Indian dish is not just healthy but also extremely easy to cook. Simple khichdi recipes usually involve rice, your preferred lentils, salt, turmeric, asafoetida (hing), and cumin seeds.

However, in Mumbai, khichdi is anything but a bland and simple dish. Rather, it is an explosion of flavours waiting to explode in your mouth. It's relished by Mumbaikars on sick days and during celebratory occasions. It wouldn't be wrong to say that preparing and relishing khichdi in Mumbai is a culture in itself. Asserting this are city chefs who speak at large about how khichdi recipes in Mumbai are different from the ones prepared elsewhere.

Soul-satisfying warm khichdis in Mumbai are always loaded with the goodness of minced ginger-garlic, spicy green chillies, finely chopped coriander that gives the dish a subtle flavour, chopped tomato for the added tanginess and to top it all, the tadka.

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"States have their own variations on khichdi recipes. Mumbai boasts more garlic tadka and chilli compared to the North. In the South, Pongal and Bisibele Bath became a form of khichdi. My favourite khichdi is the one you get in bars with the added garlic and chilli tadka," says Chef Tarun Shetty, corporate chef, Smaaash.

Chef Roshan Tadadikar, executive sous chef at Novotel Mumbai International Airport adds, "Mumbai's diverse population and culinary traditions contribute to variations in khichdi recipes, resulting in distinct flavours and textures compared to other regions. My favourite Bombay-style khichdi is Sabudana Khichdi. It is rich in carbohydrates and is suitable for those with food sensitivities. It's nutritional value and delicious taste make it my top choice."

According to Chef Deepa Suhas Awchat, Master and CEO, Goa Portuguesa, Diva Maharashtracha, Dakshin Culture Curry and Poie & Pao, "With influences from Gujarati, Maharashtrian, and other regional cuisines, Mumbai's varied culinary scene may lead to variations in the use of regional spices, vegetables, or cooking methods."

This chef's favourite khichdi is the Masala Khichdi, which combines potatoes, carrots, and peas with a savoury blend of spices like cumin, turmeric, and garam masala. "Another is Tadka Khichdi, which has a unique and fragrant flavour thanks to the cooking of rice and lentils with a tempering of spices like curry leaves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and red chilli powder. Both are valued for their simplicity and reassuring flavours."

Sharing an interesting viewpoint, Chef Feroz Khan of Cray Craft says, "While adults love a good khichdi, it is also a baby's first introduction to solid food. It acts as a comfort food for cool mornings and nights as it is prepared from lentils and rice cooked together in to porridge-like consistency with a generous tempering of ghee and cumin."

Chef Ishijyot Surri, executive chef, SJI Hospitality and Foods Pvt. Ltd also shares an interesting take: Mumbai's khichdi incorporates local flavours and ingredients such as coconut, peanuts, and pav bhaji masala, wada pav, and thechas. The street food culture in Mumbai influences the preparation of khichdi, leading to unique variations. The Bombay-style Khichdi, also known as Mumbai Khichdi or Mumbai Street Style Khichdi, is a flavourful and hearty dish popular in the bustling city of Mumbai. It is a simple dish with an abundance of flavours. Being a heartthrob Punjabi I like my food with extra tempering and having different flavours. The Punjabi staple khichdi with the Mumbai wada pav tempering is outstanding.

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Another chef, Chef Amandeep Singh, executive sous chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City mentions that khichdis prepared in Mumbai differ in taste due to the adaptation to urban lifestyles and street food culture, resulting in unique variations tailored to the city's fast-paced life. "My favourite local khichdi would be Valachi Khichdi from Maharashtra or Varan Bhaat which typically consists of toor dal (pigeon peas) and rice cooked together with minimal spices, making it easy on the stomach and suitable for all ages."

We asked the chefs to share their unique and delicious khichdi recipes for you to try at home. These recipes are thoroughly comforting and make up for a perfect way to wind down after a tiring day at work.

Vada Pav Millet Khichdi


For khichdi:
Soaked foxtail millet - 1 cup
Split green moong dal (lentils) - 1/2 cup
Water (use the same water used to soak the millet) - 2-3 cups
Finely chopped onion - 1
Chopped tomato - 1
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Potato cubes - 1/2 cup
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Finely chopped green chilli - 3
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil - 5 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Finely chopped garlic - 3 cloves
Finely chopped ginger - 1 inch
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 6
Pav bread (can be used to serve the khichdi with a twist) - 2-3
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

1. Wash the foxtail millets and soak them in water for 30 minutes. Do not discard the water.
2. Wash the green lentils and soak them in water for 30 minutes, then drain.
3. Heat ghee or oil in a pressure cooker or deep pan. Add cumin seeds as well as mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
4. Add chopped onions and saute till they become translucent.
5. Add ginger-garlic paste, and chopped green chillies, and saute for another minute.
6. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for two minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
7. Add potatoes and green peas. Saute for a couple of minutes.
8. Add soaked millets and lentils to the cooker. Mix well with the vegetables.
9. Add 2-3 cups of the water used for soaked foxtail millets, depending on the desired consistency for the khichdi.
10. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for two whistles or simmer in a pan until the millets and lentils are cooked and the khichdi has a porridge-like consistency.
11. Once the khichdi is cooked, prepare the Vada Pav tadka.
12. Heat ghee in a small pan.
13. Add chopped garlic and ginger. Saute until golden brown.
14. Add chopped green chillies, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Saute for a minute.
15. Add red chilli powder and garam masala. Mix well.
16. Pour the prepared tadka over the cooked khichdi and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
17. Serve hot with pav bread and relish.

Recipe by Chef Ishijyot Surri, executive chef, SJI Hospitality and Foods Pvt. Ltd.

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Kolambichi (Prawns) Khichdi

Small prawns - 300 gm
Basmati rice - 2 cups / 400 gm
Finely chopped onion - 2
Ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2
Bay leaves - 2
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp / 40 gm
Coconut milk - 1 cup / 250 ml
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp
Pure ghee (Melted) - 2 tbsp

1. Wash and marinate prawn with ginger-garlic paste, salt and turmeric powder and keep aside for 15 minutes. Wash and drain the rice and keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and stir fry bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds till it gives an aroma. Add finely chopped onion and saute till it changes colour, add grated coconut and saute till light brown. Add rice and stir fry for two minutes.
3. Add three cups of boiling water and a cup of coconut milk. Let rice get cooked till half done.
4. Add pure ghee, garam masala powder, prawns and salt to taste. Mix well and cook rice till fully done.
5. Serve hot. You can also relish this khichdi along with gravy or fried fish.

Recipe by Chef Deepa Suhas Awchat, CEO, Goa Portuguesa, Diva Maharashtracha, Dakshin Culture Curry and Poie & Pao

Dal Khichdi

Basmati rice -1 cup
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Masoor dal - 1/4 cup
Chana dal - 1/8 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 3 tbsp
Chopped onion - 2
Chopped tomatoes - 2
Green chillies - 2
Garlic cloves - 5
Chopped ginger - 1/2 inch
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp

For tadka:
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Kashmiri dry chillies - 4
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp

1. Wash and soak all dals in warm water for 30 minutes.
2. After 30 minutes of soaking, wash the rice and keep it aside. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables.
3. Boil dal and rice separately with salt and keep aside.
4. Keep your chopped onion and tomatoes ready. Crush ginger, garlic and green chilli together to form a paste and set aside.
5 In a pan, heat oil, add cumin and mustard seeds. Add crushed chilli, ginger and garlic, onions and cook well.
6. Once the onions look cooked, add tomatoes and saute until soft. Now add all the spices.
7. Add the cooked dal and rice to the pan. Mix it well and add salt as per taste.
8. Temper cumin seed, red chilli powder and dry red chilli in ghee. Then add this to the khichdi.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Recipe by Chef Feroz Khan, Cray Craft

Chicken Tikka Khichdi

Soaked basmati rice - 1 cup
Soaked tur dal - 500 gm
Onion - 80 gm
Tomato - 40 gm
Cumin - 15 gm
Chopped ginger - 10 gm
Chopped garlic - 20 gm
Green chilli - 10 gm
Kashmiri chilli - 10 gm
Turmeric powder - 10 gm
Garam masala - 10 gm
Fresh coriander - 10 gm
Chicken tikka - 4-5 pcs
Makhani gravy - 20 gm
Oil - 20 ml
Ghee - 20 ml
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add cumin and saute for a while. Then add chopped ginger and half of chopped garlic and saute well.
2. Add onions and cook until brown. Then add the tomatoes and cook for a while adding all the masala powders. Once everything is cooked, add the soaked dal and rice. Mix it thoroughly, cover the cooker and let it cook.
3. After four whistles remove the lid, and check if it is ready. When ready, add the chicken pieces and makhani gravy and mix.
4. Now for the tadka, heat ghee in a small ladle, add the garlic and Kashmiri chilli. Let the garlic turn slightly brown. Now pour this hot tempering into khichdi along with chopped coriander.
5. Your khichdi is now ready to be served and eaten.

Recipe by Chef Tarun Shetty, corporate chef, Smaaash

Truffle Mushroom Khichdi

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Yellow moong dal (split yellow lentils) - 1/2 cup
Chopped mushrooms - 1/2 cup
Finely chopped medium onion - 1
Minced cloves garlic - 2
Minced ginger - 1-inch
Finely chopped green chilli (optional) - 1
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) - 1/4 tsp
Truffle oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

1. Rinse the rice and moong dal under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak them in water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a pressure cooker or a heavy-bottomed pot, heat truffle oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida. Let them splutter.
3. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilli (if using). Saute until the onions are soft and translucent.
4. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and garam masala. Mix well and cook for a minute until the spices are fragrant.
5. Add chopped mushrooms. Saute for two to three minutes until they are slightly cooked.
6. Add the drained rice and dal to the pot. Mix well with the mushroom mixture.
7. Add three cups of water and salt to taste. Stir well. If using a pot, cover and cook on medium-low heat until the rice and dal are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
8. Once cooked, serve hot.

Recipe by Chef Roshan Tadadikar, executive sous chef, Novotel Mumbai International Airport

Mexican Quinoa Khichdi

Quinoa - 1 cup
Cooked black beans - 1/2 cup
Cooked corn - 1/2 cup
Diced bell peppers - 1/2 cup
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water or vegetable broth - 2 cups

1. Rinse quinoa and cook according to package instructions.
2. In a pan, heat olive oil, add bell peppers, and saute well
3. Add cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, cumin powder, chilli powder, paprika, and salt. Cook for another five minutes. Serve hot.

This Khichdi is a fusion dish that combines nutritious quinoa with Mexican flavours like black beans, corn, and bell peppers. The use of spices like cumin, chilli powder, and paprika adds a bold and zesty flavour to the dish, making it a unique and flavourful twist on traditional khichdi.

Recipe by Chef Amandeep Singh, executive sous chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City

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