Thursday, 13 October 2011



1)    Chick pea lentils – 200 gm.
2)    Alsa wheat (polished skinned thick whole wheat) – 300 gm.
3)    Jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) – 500 gm.
4)    Sugar – 1 tablespoon
5)    Ghee (clarified butter) – 4 tablespoons
6)    Fresh coconut – ½
7)    Cardamom seeds from 4 pods
8)    Sultanas/raisins/dried sweet seedless green grapes – 25 gm.
9)    Cashew nuts – 25 gm.

To Cook
Wash the chick pea lentils and the alsa wheat nicely and put them in a pressure cooker along with double their volume of water. Set the cooker on the stove. On hearing the second whistle, turn down the heat and cook for five minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool naturally so that the cooking process continues till all the steam is gone.
Put the jaggery and the sugar in a pan/vessel with 50 ml of water. Set on the stove and stir until it is fully melted. Sieve and set aside. Grate the coconut. Crush the cardamom seeds. Put a small pan on the stove. Pour in a couple of teaspoons of ghee. Add the cashew nuts and roast on low heat till they are golden brown. Throw in the sultanas. Stir once and set aside.
Set a large, thick and shallow vessel on the stove. Pour in 3 tablespoons of ghee. Gently tip in the cooked chick pea and alsa wheat mixture. Add the melted jaggery and stir well on high heat. You must never leave the vessel but keep on stirring continuously until the water has fully evaporated (if you need to leave, you should turn off the stove).
Now turn down the heat and continue stirring taking care to see that the mixture does not stick to the bottom. If it burns even a little, the taste will be spoilt. Keep stirring until it has lost the maximum amount of water without burning. Now add the roasted cashews, the sultanas and the cardamom powder. Stir and switch off.
Grease a tray or a large plate with ghee. Transfer the warm sweet khichadi to the greased tray or plate. Sprinkle a teaspoonful of ghee on the top and pat and smoothen with the flat bottom of a greased stainless steel glass or with the bottom of a greased ladle. Set aside to cool naturally. When cool, cut into pieces and garnish with slices of fully ripe nendran banana. Khichadi is a dessert with a wonderful blend of many textures.

Eat up the same day as its keeping quality is poor. From the health point of view, khichadi is far superior to cakes as it does not contain any baking powder or refined flour. Khichadi provides a good balance of dietary fiber and vegetable protein. Khichadi is an excellent dessert for birthdays, anniversaries and parties.

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