This Gujarati Khichdi With Tuvar Lilva Is A Winter Speciality
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Winters in Baroda mean that comfort foods take centre stage. And for most Indians, it doesn’t get more satisfying than khichdi. This rice dish is one of the oldest meals in Indian history and for nearly 600 years the core of the dish has remained the same. The name itself comes from the ancient Sanskrit word khiccā, which means, ‘a dish made with rice and pulses'. 

In its original form it served more of a practical purpose, being high in protein from the dal and filling from the rice with the addition of vegetables for added nutrition. It was often seen as a humble meal, designed for imparting strength rather than enjoyment and was often served to the poor at temples. Today, while it is still highly nutritious, people are more innovative with the dish and many weird and wonderful flavours are available.

This version, Lilva Khichdi is native to Gujarat and features pigeon peas (lilva) which are a staple winter crop. Although we’re more familiar with the dried version as arhar dal, the green lilva is actually much more nutritious. It’s an excellent source of protein, iron, Vitamin A and B-6, calcium, magnesium, potassium and more minerals. In their green stage, just before drying and losing their colour, pigeon peas are most nutritious and easy to digest.


  • 1½ cups short grain rice 
  • 100 grams lilva (green pigeon peas)
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic-chilli paste
  • ½ tbsp chilli powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp hing
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander to garnish


  • Heat a pressure cooker and to some hot oil add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Now chop and add the onions, stirring until they soften.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and chilli paste and cook it off for 2 minutes. 
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.
  • Sprinkle in the chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and hing until the raw smell has gone away. 
  • Add the fresh lilva and soaked rice along with some water (3 cups)
  • Cook for 3 whistles, garnish with coriander and serve with kadhi and pickle.