The humble ‘Khichdi’ was trending on social media today suggesting that the traditional Indian dish would be declared the “National Dish” of India.
Union Minister of Food Processing, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, however, clarified that it was only selected to represent the country for the World Food India event taking place on November 4, 2017.
To popularize and promote Indian cuisines internationally and, “to provide opportunities for both investment and trade in the food processing sector for leading Indian and international companies,”.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor has been named as the Brand Ambassador of the Great India Food Street and shall be attempting this mega World Record by cooking 800kgs of Khichdi which will then be distributed to about 60,000 orphan children, guests and the Heads of Foreign Missions along with the recipe.
As a quintessential staple in festivals, for prasad, bhog, when you’re ill or as a simple lazy Sunday comfort food, Khichdi is as diverse as it is underrated. It’s sexier cousin Biriyani often ends up hogging the limelight, for celebrations and events.
From the four corners of the nation right down to every household, that has it’s own variation of this classic dish, right down to the tadka and masala, here’s how India eats Khichdi!
Kashmir- Mong Khetchir
Made with green moong dal and rice, the one pot meal is eaten with pickles and yogurt.
Himachal Pradesh- Balaee
From the Kangra Valley, this khichdi uses buttermilk and Kala chana (whole Bengal gram) called alae.
Punjab- Urad Dal Ki Khichdi
Made especially during the festival of Lohri with black urad dal, it is often eaten for breakfast during winters.
Rajasthan- Kathiawadi Khichdi
Originating from the Kathiawar district of Rajasthan, the dish uses no lentils but a variety of vegetables and rice making it wholesome.
Gujarat- Vaghareli Khichdi
The most popular and well-known variant in Gujarat, known for its garlic tempering called Vaghar ortadka in Hindi. Served with Gujarati kadhi or potato curry and yogurt.
Maharashtra- Sabudana Khichdi
This khichdi is eaten during fasting and as a popular breakfast snack in Maharashtra. It’s made with soaked tapioca pearls (sabudana), cumin, roasted peanut powder, or crushed peanuts and green chilies.
Tamil Nadu/Telangana/Andhra Pradesh- Pongal
This popular breakfast dish is a milder version of its north Indian counterparts and is eaten in two main forms sweet (Chakkara Pongal) or spicy (Venn Pongal), while the spicy is eaten for breakfast in parts of South India, the sweet is eaten especially for the celebration of the Tamil harvest festival Pongal.
West Bengal- Bhoger Khichuri/ Bhaja Mooger Khichuri
Called Bhoger Khichuri when it’s is offered as prasad for Durga Pujo, it is otherwise called Bhaja Mooger Khichuri( roasted yellow moong) and is served with Labra( mixed vegetable curry), differentBhajas (fries) and Tomato Chaatni (chutney).
Bihar- Chokha Khichdi
This healthy khichdi is served with chaar yaar (four companions) which goes for curd, chutney, pickles, papads, ghee and another vital item of Bihari cuisine called Chokha. Which is prepared simply with mashed boiled potatoes, seasoned with chopped onions, green chilies.
Hyderabad/ Telangana- Haleem/ Khichra
A one-dish meal of wheat, lentils, and meat. Haleem could be made in two hours, though purists insist on slow cooking it for ten hours. Onions, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander leaves and lemon juice are added before serving and is sometimes topped with deep-fried onion rings.
Gujarat- Bohri Khichdi
The Dawoodi Bohra community in Gujarat eat this special khichdi made with meat, spices and tuvar dal (arhar) and minced meat (keema) is often added as well.
Manipur -Ja Dai
Masoor Dal, Rice chopped and shredded ginger, salt and chopped onions and ghee is used to make this khichdi which is eaten in Manipuri households and is best when served with a spicy side dish.
A spicy gravy stew of chicken or pork cooked with rice and eaten widely as a snack in Mizoram.
Haryana- Bajra Khichdi
Bajre ki khichdi is not only a tasty dish but is also extremely healthy. Bajra or black millet is a great source of proteins, iron and folic acid and the taste can be mild to spicy depending on preference.
In a country as diverse as ours, the simple and sober Khichdi stands among those rare delicacies, which bind us together despite our differences.
So which khichdi are you?