Moong Dhuli Dal Khichdi with Mustard Greens and Spinach

Moong Dhuli Dal Khichdi with Mustard Greens and Spinach

Khichdi is a popular dish all over India specially Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Bengal. It is usually made with rice and lentils (there are several variations using different types of lentils) as a base and vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, peas, sqash, spinach, potatoes, etc. are added in different combinations. Rice and lentils are cooked until very mushy and vegetables usually seem to disappear. It is considered as a very healthy dish – carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins all in one dish and is traditionally offered as early food to babies/ toddlers when they first start solids. Also, it is very easy on little stomachs. My son is 2 years old now and eats a wide variety of dishes but I still make it for him very often. In the recipe below I use plenty of greens-spinach, mustard and broccoli. Now that my son is little big, I make it slightly different from the traditional recipe because I add onions, tomatoes and garlic as well. Although I do stick to the ‘bland’ part and don’t put any spices. O yes, and my son also likes the yellow color. I must add that it is a popular dish among children and adults alike.

You need:

3/4 cup Moong dhuli dal (Yellow Lentils)
3/4 cup uncooked white rice (or 2 cups cooked rice)
3/4 cup Mustard greens (sarson), chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
4-5 broccoli florets, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large tomato chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp desi ghee-unclarified butter/Canola oil
Pinch of Asafoetida

Heat ghee/oil in a pressure cooker (or a large pot). Add Asafoetida and after few seconds add garlic. Saute for few seconds and add onions. Cook until translucent or slightly browned. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric and cook until tomatoes are little mushy. Add spinach, mustard greens and broccoli and cook for couple of minutes. Add rice and lentils, about 6 cups of water and pressure cook for about 15 minutes. After the steam vents out, open the cooker, mix well, add more water to adjust consistency. I like it neither too dry nor too runny. Adjust salt, if needed. If you use any big vegetable pieces, use a ladle to mash them-it will be effortless.

If you are not using a pressure cooker, add about 8 cups water and let the ‘khichdi’ simmer on low heat until lentild, rice and vegetables are all mushy.

Serve hot with yogurt and/or pickles. I usually add some additional ‘ghee’/butter to my son’s bowl.