7 Ways To Transform Leftover Khichdi Into Delicious Dishes
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It is safe to say that khichdi is India’s favourite comfort food. From eating it when we are feeling under the weather to enjoying a spicy dal khichdi tempered with dried red chillies and pairing it with fried fritters during the rainy season, the humble dish can bring much joy in any season. A bowl of warm Khichdi for most people is a reminder of the comfort of home. 

Khichdi is one of the simplest dishes to make and also one of the first things first-time cooks in India learn to make (after chai and Maggi). To make khichdi, wash rice and dal (lentils) together under running water. Soak them in water for about 15–20 minutes and then drain the water out. In a pressure cooker, heat oil. 

Video Credit: SM's Kitchen

Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, and black peppercorns. Sauté for a few seconds. Add slit green chillies, grated ginger, and garlic. Then add any chopped vegetables—beans, carrots and peas are the common vegetables used in khichdi. After a few minutes, add the rice and dal. Add turmeric powder and salt and finally, add 4 cups of water and mix well. 

Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for about 3–4 whistles. Turn off the heat and let the pressure release naturally.

On many occasions, one ends up making too much Khichdi, which is tough to finish in a single meal. While the leftover khichdi can be reheated and eaten again, sometimes this may be boring. It is very easy to convert the khichdi that gets leftover into dishes such as dhoklas, tikkis, parathas and even soup! Here’s how:

Khichdi Tikki

The easiest dish to make with leftover Khichdi is pan-fried patties or tikki. Simply mix leftover khichdi with some boiled and mashed potatoes to bind. Add finely chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, and spices like garam masala, cumin powder, and salt. Take the mixture in your palm and shape it into small patties. Shallow fry the patties on a non-stick pan until golden brown on both sides. Serve the tikkis with mint chutney or ketchup.

Khichdi Paratha 

Can a rice dish be made into a paratha? Yes, it can. Use leftover khichdi as a stuffing for the whole wheat dough, just like you would in the case of an alu paratha or any other stuffed paratha. Roll out a portion of the dough, place a spoonful of khichdi in the centre, fold the dough over the filling, and roll it out again. Cook the paratha on a tawa with a little oil or ghee until golden brown on both sides. This can be a great breakfast option if you have left over khichdi from the previous night. 

Khichdi Upma

This is another quick breakfast dish that can be made from leftover khichdi. Heat some oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and urad dal. Add chopped onions and and green chillies, and sauté till the onions become translucent. Mix in the leftover khichdi and cook for a few minutes. Squeeze some lemon juice on top and garnish with fresh coriander.

Khichdi Pancakes 

Savoury pancakes can be easily made from leftover khichdi. Mix the leftover khichdi with a little water to adjust the consistency. Add any finely chopped vegetables you like. Bell peppers, carrots and onions work well. Add chopped green chillies and spices. Pour a spoonful of the mixture onto a hot tava and cook like a pancake until golden on both sides.

Khichdi Soup

Did you imagine you could make a comforting soup out of leftover Khichdi? As unlikely as it seems, this is possible. Blend leftover khichdi with some water or vegetable broth to a soup-like consistency in a mixer. Heat and adjust the seasoning by adding salt, pepper, and additional spices if you wish to. Add some fresh herbs, such as coriander or parsley, before serving. 

Khichdi Burrito

You can give the leftover desi khichdi a Mexican twist and use it as a filling for burritos. Mix it  with other burrito ingredients, such as beans, salsa, cheese, and vegetables. Wrap it in a tortilla and grill it until lightly browned. You can serve this with salsa sauce, guacamole or sour cream.

Khichdi Dhokla

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To turn your leftover khichdi into dhokla, blend the leftover khichdi in a blender to make a smooth paste. If the khichdi is too thick, add a little water to it. In a mixing bowl, mix the khichdi paste, besan (gram flour), yoghurt, turmeric powder, chopped green chillies, ginger paste, salt, and sugar. Just before steaming, add lemon juice and Eno (or baking soda) to the batter. Grease a plate with oil. Heat water in a steamer or large pot with a trivet to create steam. Pour the prepared batter onto the greased plate and spread it evenly. Place the plate on the steamer, cover and steam for about 15–20 minutes. Remove the plate from the steamer and let it cool for a few minutes. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.