I’ve been sick the past couple of days. And pretty miserable with it. Primarily because I have the attention span of a gnat, get bored easily, and hate spending extended periods of time on my own indoors. So yeah, I love being ill.
The worst thing about this particular bug is the fact that I’ve been feeling completely nauseous and therefore not really up for eating food. It’s like I’m being punished in the most perverse way possible! As soon as people say “just eat some plain dry toast” I really want to cry. No, what I actually want to eat is probably a really nice veggie curry laden with chilli!
Anyhow, as I started to feel a bit better today, I ventured further than dry toast. I made khichdi. This is what gets dished up in Indian households everywhere when you’re feeling a bit poorly. Think of it as the equivalent of a bowl of Heinz tomato soup when you’ve got a cold. It’s just a simple combination of rice and moong dal – maybe with some cumin seeds, maybe with a bit of ghee. But that’s about it. So far, so bland. But khichdi is properly comforting, and when your feeling pretty weak and sorry for yourself, that’s definitely what you need.
(Although I couldn’t help myself and served it alongside a finely chopped up Sri Lankan butter chilli – a recent impulse purchase from the wonderful Spice Shop on Drummond St behind Euston. Well, I can’t really forego chilli completely, can I?)
It’s almost embarrassing writing a recipe for this, as it’s so easy, but here you go.
Khichdi – makes two servings with some plain yoghurt on the side
(Apologies for the cup quantities – I just find this the easiest way of measuring out and cooking rice and dal)
1/2 cup of basmati or other good long grained rice
1/2 cup moong dal
1tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 black peppercorns
A small knob of ghee or butter (optional)
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid on a medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and stir until they turn a shade darker and start to splutter.
2. Add the rice and dal, stir around until coated in the cumin and oil. Then add water and salt, covering the rice and dal by 1cm. Bring up to the boil, put the lid on and then simmer on a low heat until all of the water has evaporated and the rice and moong dal are cooked through.
3. Stir through the ghee or butter if using, dish up and serve with some plain yoghurt. Feel better.
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