When I think of this in general I get a feel of an unaccomplished task. A task turned into a mess. While as a Chef when I think of someone asking for Khichdi I think of either the person is sick, someone looking for comfort food or someone going on a food detox after some heavy meals over the weeks.
Well when you just think of Khichdi I think across the country you would probably find it in various forms. Generally Khicdhi in North India would mean lentil and rice only, while in East it could be with vegetables and I also feel that the Bhog during Durga Puja or any Pooja for that matter is a mixture of veggies, lentil and rice, South I can relate to Bissi Belle Bhat, west specially in Gujarat I see Khichdi rice and lentil but very think and runny. In Mumbai of course the Shetty restaurants have their own versions but very tasty I wouldn’t say that as detox food but lighter on the stomach.
I have foodie Mythologist working in our office Mehul who is researching on food and mythology and he has to share that Khichdi is one of the most ancient dishes and is derived from Khicca. Early mentions of this dish as Krusaranna made with split, mung beans, sesame , black pepper and rice and are mentioned in Kamika Agama, the dish evolved from Krusaranna to Khicca and then in the early 13th century in was became Khichdi. There are many travelers who mention the recipe for Khichdi in their books. Khichdi was a popular dish during the Emperor Akbar’s times; the dish is also mentioned in Ain-I – Akbari, otherwise known as Constitution of Akbar.
There is an Egyptian dish named Kusharia, it is inspired from Khichdi and has rice, lentils and macaroni .
In modern times we have premium restaurants serving khichdi ‘s in various forms and I remember Chef Floyd Cardoz winning a Culinary title by making Mushroom Khichdi. Today’s date you will find Khichdi in premium restaurants like Indian Accent in an altogether new avatar.
Well however we transform the khichdi into it would still remain the poor man’s food and comfort food for India.
I personally love the Udad dal and rice khichdi which my mother would make in January. We would make during Lohri/Sankrant Night and have it the next day morning for breakfast and it was not something called comfort food; it was definitely a food that had memories and would remain so.
So here it is various khichdi’s on the Khichdi day that we are celebrating Nationally.
Palak Paneer Khichdi Udad Dal Khichdi