As long as I can remember I have been obsessed with learning every single culture in the entire world through their food, arts and wine (if they make it). I befriended people from all over the globe which brought me immense happiness. My zealous pursuit of knowledge and yearning for the authentic cuisine which so many times in America is diluted or lost in translation brought me to the far corners of the world. India happens to be one of these countries. India and its cuisine holds a special place in my heart. Indian food is so unique and packed/layered with flavor that it becomes a sensory explosion. The recipe that I’m sharing with you today truly embodies this. My insatiable appetite for all of these things also drove me to constantly learn and fully immerse myself in other cultures by learning their language, music, food and drink.
India is such an anomaly and in many ways, similar to Italy in terms of subtle differences in cuisines when comparing neighboring towns. I love Indian food and many other Asian countries for that matter for their ability to layer in multiple different flavors in one dish. Indian food takes time, patience and is extremely well balanced when done correctly. It is one of the few areas in the world where they can hit every single level of flavor in a single dish – sour, sweet, spicy, salty, umami etc. From time to time, I will share with you some of the recipes I have learned while on my travels or collaborations with amazing chefs from around the world.
One of these collaborations is Chef Sujan Sarkar who hails from India. He is an incredibly talented Michelin experienced chef who has worked in many countries around the world and opened many of his own here in the United States. You can find Rooh in Chicago, San Francisco and Columbus and his gastro pub Baar Baar NYC in New York City.
Khichdi is a healthy vegetarian dish that can be served as your main meal or as a side dish to salmon, chicken etc. If you have any questions with this recipe or any type of cuisine please feel free to contact me for more answers. I hope you enjoy this flavorful dish.
You can also tune into our podcast episode with Chef Sujan here.
Please Note: The Khichdi pictured above has been modified with a delicious piece of wild salmon and some greens.
(recipe courtesy of Chef Sujan Sarkar)
Organic KODO millet – 100 gm
(soak in water for 1 hour; boil until cooked and then strain)
Organic Proso millet – 50 gm
(boil until cooked and then strain)
Indian Yellow Lentil (Moong Dal) – 100 gm
(dry roast on a pan, no oil, until golden then boil until 50% cooked)
1 Butternut Squash
(peel and cut into 1 cm cubes)
1 Red Onion – thinly sliced
6 garlic – 2 cloves – chopped
Fresh Ginger – small piece – chopped
1 Tomato – chopped
Canola Oil – 50 ml
Clarified Butter – Ghee – 50 gm
Turmeric Powder – 1 tb
Red Chili Powder – 1 tb (Kajmiri Mirch or Rashampati)
Salt to taste
Cilantro – half a bunch, chopped
Sour Cream – 5-6 tbps
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tb
Curry Leaf (optional)
Start with 2-3 tablespoons of Ghee in a pan on medium heat.
Add chopped ginger and chopped garlic to the pan until they start to get golden.
Add tomatoes and saute until soft.
Add all of the spices and stir in letting it cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add Moong Daal and both Millet and 2.5 cups of hot water and cook until the water is reduced to even with the grains.
Push off of the heat and in another pan put 2 TB of Ghee once hot whole cumin seeds and garlic paste with 4-5 curry leaves and saute for 90 seconds.
Add onions and cook until caramelized. Add this to the other pot and mix together.
Serve in a bowl as a main dish or a vegetable underneath your Protein. Garnish with a spoonful of sour cream and a handful of chopped cilantro.