Lightly roasted Chana Dal and Rice; pressure cooked with peas and spices makes a comforting one-pot meal. This Bhuni Chana Dal Khichdi is a Sankranti special recipe from Punjab.
January is here and it is time for another edition of Blogging Marathon. For this week my theme is Festival Special recipes. Given the theme, I decided to make recipes for Sankranti.
This festival is celebrated in different parts of India in a different way. The Harvest Festival of India, this day is believed to mark the beginning of Spring in the country. Celebrated as Makar Sankranti in most parts of the country, the festival is also known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Uttarayan in Gujarat and Lohri in Punjab.
A number of dishes are made in different parts, mostly all revolving around the theme of preparing dishes from freshly harvested grains and seeds. From the sweet chikkis to savory khichdis and pongals, all these dishes are yummy and perfect for the cold winters.
This time I decided to prepare a Punjabi version of Sankranti's Khichdi. The major difference in this and other khichdis is that the lentils and rice are sauteed in ghee before pressure cooking them. This method gives the khichdi a distinct flavor. Traditionally, khichdi is made from moong dal; either yellow skinned dal or the green with skin. However, this one is made from chana dal. A great way to sneak in a few green peas to the khichdi with this recipe.
A bowl of khichdi, served with yogurt, salad and papad; this combination is perfect for lunch or dinner. We like our lentil grains separate and so we cooked the khichdi for three whistles. However, if you like them totally mashed, cook for one extra whistle. That way the lentils will be mashed and the peas will be cooked through.
This recipe is from the age old collection of my grand mother's recipes. I remember how we used to devour this khichdi with spoonfuls of chilled yogurt. We would be served this khichdi with a spoon of homemade ghee, another ingredient that our family expects we should consume the most in winters! Hope you enjoy and try this one for your family this winter!
Chana Dal 1 cup
Basmati Rice 1 cup
Green Peas 1 cup
Onion 1 medium, diced
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Ghee 2 tbsp
Star Anise 1-2
Bay leaves 1-2
Cinnamon stick 1 inch
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Dried Red Chilli 2-3
Salt 1 tsp
Wash and soak the rice and dal separately. In a pressure cooker add the ghee and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop add asafoetida, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, red chilli and cloves.
Once the spices become fragrant, add the ginger garlic paste and saute. Add the onion and cook till soft. Then drain and add the dal. Saute for a couple of minutes and add the drained rice.
Saute it all and finally add the peas. Season with salt, add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Add 2 cups water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Release pressure and open the cooker.
Serve immediately with yogurt, papad and salad.