Dalia Khichdi (Broken wheat and Lentil medley with loads of vegetables)

8:45 AM

The recipe that am going to share today always transports me back to my childhood. I can visualize Maa standing in our tiny kitchen prepping for this dish. Chopping loads of vegetables in her unique Bonti which is clasped on the countertop to spare her from sitting on the floor to use it. With every deft movement of her hands her bangles making a jingling sound. Some stray hairs sticking to the sweat on her forehead, the way she uses the back of her hand to remove it falling in her eyes. The sizzling sound of spices in hot oil, that pungent aroma of spices…almost seems surreal.

I loved watching her in the kitchen. She is a multi tasker in all its true senses. Was married at 18 and by 23 she had 3 kids to manage the whole family and a very busy husband with a much demanding job. Still she managed to finish her studies and did her masters. Life for her has always been tugh and there was never enough time for herself but she never let that come in her way and managed to do everything she wanted to. Today we are proud to have a Mom who is a well-known Entrepreneur in her own rights. Today when TV Channels take her interview for documentery on successful women entrepreneur I feel proud. But what they don’t get to see is the sweat and determination that she ahd to put in in this long journey.

As a mother of a 3 year old I know how easy it is to call it quits when the going gets tough. But she never considered that as an option. I can still remember those days when she fed all three of us, packed lunch and send us all of to school and then went for her art classes in the renowned Kalabhawana of Visva Bharati university. She used to wake up at 4 AM to do her art works and finished the course as a batch topper. The beginning of her business journey wasn’t easy at all. Scarcity of resources and time both deterred her at every step but she took everything on her stride and today she has a small set up where almost 300 village women work for their livlihood. When we visit her centers and workshops it feel like another home, almost like an extension of our own family. That’s the kind of bonding she has with those women.

When I look back I can see the type of pressure, problems and hardles she had to go through. But what amazes me is not the strength but the tenacity. There were times when people made remarks, stole her work and duped her money. It was easier to break down at those moments but that’s not my mom, she simply overlooked everything and when required started it from the scratch. That’s a rare quality found in very few people and am proud to know someone who is al close as my Maa…

Dalia khichri is a childhood favourite and we love it the way she prepares it, that is with loads of veggies. some usual ones like beans and carrots and some not so usual ones like pointed gourds, pumpkin, banana stem, spinach etc. she used to make this for our weekend laidback breakfast. Though we love luchi but she never gave into refined flour and deep fried goodies on a regular basis, so dalia khichri and idlis were made on most of the days. I often prepare this for dinner and Hubby and the little boy love it as much as I do.

Dalia Khcihuri (Broken wheat and red lentil medley with vegetables)
(Serves 3)

Dalia: 1 cup
Red lentil (Mussor dal): ¾ cup
Onion: 1 big
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Tomato: 1 big
Tomato puree: 2 tbsp (or 1 more tomato)
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Red chili powder: 1 tsp (or as per your heat quotient)
Oil: 3 tbsp

For tempering:
Cumin seeds: ¾ tsp
Cloves: 2 pieces
Cinnamon: 1” stick
Black pepper: 7-8 pieces
Green chillies: 2 pieces (chopped in small pieces)

Add any vegetable of your choice: 3 cups (add more if you like)
I prefer to add potato, carrot, beans, yard long beans, squash, spinach, peas, pointed gourds, banana stem, jackfruit seeds, raw papaya etc. whatever you use cut in small cubes and steam or boil them separately.

Coriander greens: handful. Washed and chopped.

Wash the dalia and red lentil under running water. Pressure cook on medium heat with little turmeric, water and a pinch of salt for two whistles. Open the lid and keep aside. The Dalia I use here is quite grainy which I prefer, as it does not get mushy after cooking and still provide some texture in the final dish. And for that reason I always cook dalia and lentil separately. You can do it together also. Nothing would be lost.

Steam/ microwave (for 5 minutes) or boil the veggies till just cooked. Keep aside. Chop the onion finely.

Heat the oil and once its hot add the ingredients under tempering. Let them splutter (hardly a min) on medium heat and then add the chopped onion.

Cook it for 4-5 minutes with a pinch of salt till they change colour to a very light golden. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell is gone. In the mean time mix turmeric, coriander and chili powder in ¼ cup water. Once the garlic is cooked add theis spice paste. Cook till oil starts to surface (approx. 2 mins.).

Throw in the tomatoes, mix and cover. Let them soften on medium heat then mash it with your spatula. Add in the tomato puree if using. Again cook for a couple of minutes till oil start to suarface.

Add the vegetables and fry with the masala for 3-4 minutes. Finally mix in the boiled dal and broken wheat. Give everything a good mix. Add 2 cups of warm water and cook on medium heat.

Adjust the seasoning and stir occasionally to stop it from sticking at the bottom. Cook for 10-12 minutes for the flavours and taste to mingle. Once you are happy with the consistency add chopped coriander.

Serve hot with some fries. We love it with Sharmila’s crispy fried pointed gourd (Parwal/patol) and Potato masala fry deshi style. Will share the recipe soon.

A Homemaker's Notes:
I generlly add double the amount of water while boiling the dalia or the lentils.

sending it to my own event JCO: Monsoon. Originally started by Jagruti of JCO fame.

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