Palak Khichdi

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Most of my knowledge about Indian mythology is from Amar chitra katha, the Indian comics. Interesting stories presented with beautiful pictures,  never fails to hit the mark!

Not just mythology, you had a lot of history based, folk based and even humor based stories. Now, the last category holds a special place  in my heart. Stories of the funny Tenali Rama or the wisdom laced humor of Birbal always leave you wanting more!

This khichdi is inspired from a Birbal story. On their morning walk around a cold lake in winter, a debate gets started whether someone would be so crazy as to stay in the water for a whole night in return for a reward. To test this out, Akbar announces the challenge to the public and soon someone accepts it.

That guy spends the whole night in the cold water with some guards around him to ensure that he doesn’t cheat. The next morning, Akbar asks him how he survived the night and he replies that he focused his sight and mind solely on a far away lamp to get him through the challenge. Akbar gets irked by the answer and decides not to pay the reward on the grounds that the lamp kept him warm.

Birbal felt it wasn’t fair. To prove his point, he invites Akbar for lunch to his place. The food seems to take a long time to get ready. After a long wait, Akbar walks into the kitchen and sees that Birbal is preparing khichdi. The problem was that the pot was hung about 10 feet over the stove.

Akbar asks Birbal how is he planning to get the khichdi cooked, as the pot was so far away from the stove! Birbal smartly replies,”If a lamp 50 feet away can keep a guy warm in an ice cold lake, why can’t a pot full of khichdi kept 10 feet away get cooked in time?” Akbar understands his mistake and orders the reward to be paid.

And they went back to the palace for a wholesome lunch, I hope!!

I have no idea whether this story really took place or not, but its a popular story and the saying “Birbal ki khichdi” even came out of it.

So here I have for you food from kids literature : Birbal ki khichdi, prepared by moi :D.

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Pictorial

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Cook 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup moong dal with 4 cups water. Keep aside.

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Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add 1 teaspoon jeera in it.

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Once it changes color, add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to it.

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Add one big chopped onion and saute further.

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Once the onion turns pink add one chopped tomato and cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

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Grind 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 green chillies and 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. You can add 1/2 cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup mint leaves as well, if you want to.  Add this puree to the onion-tomato mix. Cook 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off.

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Add the cooked rice and dal mix and keep mixing until the color turns fully green.

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Add 2-3 cups of water till you get the consistency you desire. Take off the heat and serve with a dollop of butter on top. This dish pairs very well with yogurt and pickle.

Serves : 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt

grind together

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Method:

  1. Cook 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup moong dal with 4 cups water. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add 1 teaspoon jeera in it. Once it changes color, add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to it. Add one big chopped onion and saute further.
  3.  Once the onion turns pink add one chopped tomato and cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  4. Grind 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 green chillies and 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. You can add 1/2 cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup mint leaves as well, if you want to.  Add this puree to the onion-tomato mix. Cook 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off.
  5. Add the cooked rice and dal mix and keep mixing until the color turns fully green. Add 2-3 cups of water till you get the consistency you desire.
  6. Take off the heat and serve with a dollop of butter on top. This dish pairs very well with yogurt and pickle.

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Linking this entry to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted by PJ this month. The theme is ‘Cooking from Storybooks/TV shows’.

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