Thursday, February 1, 2007

Palak Khichdi

This is what I had for lunch today! I love this simple yet heart warming dish. Just the perfect rice dish to have in winter... and any other time ofcourse.

My first introduction to this dish was some 4-5 years ago in THE shopping suburb of Bombay.. BANDRA.. in this restaurant which I visited for the first time too... Sheetal Bukhara. I still remember the first bite I took of the palak khichdi and my romance with this dish has blossomed since then :) Truly heart pleasing, comforting, simple dish... which let me add... a few restaurants still suck at! You have to get the right soggy consistency and the right amount of garlic and onion bites in between. I cant stop raving about this dish!!

When in Bombay (I still don't like it calling Mumbai but slowly getting accustomed with the new name), I never attempted making this dish. When I it tried here for the first time a year back.. it had the right taste but not the right consistency. But now I get it PERFECT!! Mom says she still cant make it right.. M dying to feed her my haath ka palak khichdi.. For heavens sake.. this must be THE one dish I can make better than mom!! :)

Today I made this with baby spinach that I had in the fridge. You can use spinach bunch too, as I usually do :) I always use basmati rice for this dish as it imparts its own special flavor!

1 cup basmati rice, washed and drained
2 cups water
About 2 handfuls of baby spinach
4-5 garlic pods, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tomato, chopped (optional)
1 green chili
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garam masala
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of turmeric
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee

  • Blanch and puree the spinach with the green chili. Set aside
  • In a hot saucepan, add the oil and ghee.
  • Add the garlic and saute for about 5 seconds, then add the onion and saute till they turn pink and translucent.
  • If using, add the tomatoes and stir.
  • Now add the rice and mix well with the onion and garlic.
  • Add the spinach puree, turmeric, sugar, garam masala, salt and stir well.
  • Add the water and milk.
  • Cover and let it boil on medium heat.
  • The dish is done when the rice is fully cooked and **the spinach puree still floats on top.
Enjoy with a dollop of ghee if desired :)

** Check in between when the rice is cooking. If desired add 1/2 cup water more. You want the end result not seperate rice grains but a sticky mushy khichdi.


Suchandra said... romance with palak khichdi also started in mumbai...recently i've moved to delhi with heart full of mumbai memories...thank u very much for making me able to have some bit of mumbai... :)

Anonymous said...

The first time i ate Palak Khichidi i was toatlly lost in mumbai ..and crying over the dish.. that hot yummy food was my comfort food in every sense.. Now every time i go to mumbai i ask for this ....I have been hunting the recipie for Thanks for putting it up..will definitely make it....

Veena Gudi said...

Hi, Thanks for the reciepe, I have now mastered the dish after making it a couple of times and its a perfect reciepe for a working woman like me, since there is no need to cook anything else..
Some variations or improvizations
1. if you have a rice cooker the outcome is even better and faster
2. you can use kitchen king masala instead of garam masala it tastes great as well
3. Before adding water, let the milk, spinach pure boil for a minute and then add rice and water it gives a makhani feeling...
But I must say this is the yummiest kichadi i can make

Ami said...

Thanks a lot for the recipe.... We (My husband and I) are from Mumbai too and he kept on telling me how delicious the palak khichdi was at one of the restaurants he had been to in South Bombay. I wasn't much into cooking till the time I was in Mumbai so I didn't bother much about that. After moving here to Los Angeles I started cooking everyday and the biggest question that arises is "What do I cook?" so I made a list of whatever he (my husband) mentioned had liked and started looking up on the internet for all those recipes. I am glad I came across your recipe. The first time I made palak khichdi it didn't turn out as great nor did it look like the picture you have posted. I realised I had used more rice than the spinach. I made it today again and my husband loved it and it exactly looks like the picture here :) (picture does help in judging the closeness of our results to the recipe) Thanks once again.

Anonymous said...

I tried it to the T, and came out Yummy!! would probably add bit of red chilly next time, but thats it. Thanks!

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Namrata Shaw Chaturvedi said...

Thanks for posting this recipe as most of the palak khichdi recipes available online is mostly with some or the other lentils...was looking for this since long...I stay in bandra so I am aware of the popularity of sheetal bukharas palak khichdi...but in Mumbai there are many fast food joints like the udpi types that serve tasty palak khichdi...since its called khichdi always had a doubt if the ones that we eat in restaurants has lentils or not...
I need some more guidance , I just now tried ur recipe for the first time...It was going all well specifically talking about the bright green colour like the pic u have displayed but the moment I covered the vessel with a lid the bright green turned to dark green :( , do u think it's coz of the lid , I also did add one of each of whole garam masala bay leaf...plz help , I face the same colour problem with my palak paneer too...I did pour cold water over the spinach after blanching it...Thanks