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Tongue out of cheek: My Pranam to Khichdi!

Some thoughts on khichdi

Megha Mamgain | News18.com

Updated:November 2, 2017, 6:16 PM IST
Tongue out of cheek: My Pranam to Khichdi!
Khichdi symbolises India's great culture of unity in diversity at its best. (Image courtesy: Archana's Kitchen)
I remember my mother narrating the humiliation she felt when her fluffy pulav was called "Khichdi"! The humble one pot dish has often been used as a kitchen insult. "Biryani hai ya Khichdi!". Acute laziness or acute stomach ache are the only reasons for many to go to this dish. Khichdi goes back centuries but has also been caught in an evolution time wrap. On the one hand it has cousins in the delicious Haleem of Hyderabad, bisibele bhat of Karnataka or the ven Pongal of Tamil Nadu and on the other it has remained in its simplest form- daal rice amalgam.

But the poor Khichdi is judged even before it is tasted. When a picture of Khichdi prepared by Priyanka Chopra was shown to chef Gorden Ramsay he called it "Dog Food!"

(Watch the video below)

"Puke" "Yucky" "S***" are the many adjectives being used for it on Twitter since the news of the possibility of it being declared India's National dish surfaced.

But the squishy, yellow, semi liquid -semi solid, concoction with the right accompaniments should be given an unbiased chance.

"Khichdi ke chaar yaar- Dahi, Ghee, Papad, Achaar"

A melting dollop of pure ghee on a velvety bed of steaming hot Khichdi, with crisp, spicy pappad sprinkled on top, arbitrarily, so it breaks the textural monotony of the Khichdi. The nimboo achaar ( lemon pickle) goes distinctively well with it, but if one favours the staple aam ka achaar (mango pickle), well...who is to stop you? Accentuate the meal with sweet, cold, creamy curd- and...Well ok! Doesn't compare to Butter Chicken or Paneer Lababdaar but who can eat that every day? And so you need the Khichdi- your SOS for the day when there is nothing in the fridge or when nothing seems to stay put in your abdomen.

A 1000 kilograms of Khichdi is being slow cooked to be served at the World Food India Event. No, not a weak tummy in fact this Khichdi preparation requires solid 'guts'. I salute the gumption of the Chef on his choice of menu. While I would never even dare to serve it to guests coming home, he will be presenting it to dignitaries from across the world. That Khichdi better be good.

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