As the mercury starts dropping, it’s time to have some warm comforting food. When it comes to planning a comforting one pot meal, khichudi is always the answer. Be it a rainy day or a cold winter night, the Indian style savory porridge is my go to meal. Rice and lentils is the main ingredients to make khichudi, but as the husband man starts getting calorie conscious and at the same time starts craving for some Bengali dinner, substituting rice with couscous was my only choice.
I prefer the couscous over the Israeli pearl couscous, which is much larger in size and tastes better in salads. The couscous khichudi tastes almost similar to dahliya khichudi. I made with with a mix of two different dals – moong (yellow split lentil) and masoor (red lentil) along with couscous and a mix of different seasonal vegetables – green beans, baby carrots, and cauliflower. You can serve this khichudi as it is with a dollop of butter and some lime juice or you can jazz it up with a side of some potato fries.
¼ cup masoor dal
⅓ cup moong dal
½ cup original plain couscous
1 cup vegetable mix
1 teaspoon whole cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon ginger paste
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoon ghee/ oil
½ teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
Take a deep bottom pan and dry roast the moong dal, till some of the dal starts browning; about 4 minutes. Cool it down and wash thoroughly. Wash the masoor dal also.
Boil 2 cup of water in the same pan and add the dal. Cook till the dal is half done. Add the vegetables. Add all the spices except the garam masala. Cook till the vegetables are almost done, and then add the couscous. Pour more water if you see the khichudi is getting too thick.
In a frying pan pour in the ghee and as it starts to melt add the whole cumin, the cumin will start to sputter, transfer it to the cooked khichudi. Cook for about a minute, then take it out of the flame and sprinkle the garam masala.
Chef’s Tips – Khichudi tends to dry out quickly. So keep it runny when you take it out of the flame.
If you are using cauliflower, its better to fry the cauliflower till the florets start turning slightly brown on the sides. This helps to get rid of the cauliflower smell.