Farali Kuttu Khichdi/ Buckwheat Khichdi
THEME: #165 NAVRATRI SPECIAL
Navratri is just round the corner and many homes especially ladies are getting ready for the 9 days festival. For Gujaratis it means garba and dandhia. It’s also the time when many fast for the 9 days. Different people fast in different ways depending on their tradition, culture or area they come for. For most Gujaratis these 9 days of fasting means no grains or pulses are consumed along with many of the beans and other vegetables. The dishes one can prepare are exactly as the same as the ones we make for Ekadashi or Farali. There are some who fast 9 days without taking any salt and only eat fruits, nuts and milk.
I carried some buckwheat groat from India and decided to use them to make a farali dish. I made farali kuttu khichdi(buckwheat khichdi) in the same manner as we make sabudana khichdi. Healthy, gluten free and easy to make, one can enjoy this dish even when not fasting.
Buckwheat is commonly used during fasting. The flour is more commonly used to make puris, pakodas, dosas or chilas, dhokra etc. The whole seeds or groat as its called can be used to make khichdi or porridge.
Buckwheat is not related at all to wheat. In fact its known as a pseudo cereal. The name buckwheat comes from the tree beech as the buckwheat seeds resemble the beech nuts of the beech tree, triangular in shape. Why is it not a cereal or grain? Well because buckwheat plant is related to sorrel, rhubarb and knotweed.
It is believed that the domesticated version of buckwheat was first planted 6000BCE in the inland of South East Asia and it spread from there to other parts of Asia and Europe. Its used to make soba noodles, the Russians make blini (pancakes) from it and is used to make crepes in France.
Low in calories, buckwheat is a rich source of protein, dietary fibers, Vitamin B and magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Low glycemic index makes its an ideal food for diabetics. It also contains disease fighting antioxidants. Also as I mentioned above its gluten free.
Make this easy to make and easy to digest khichdi.
FARALI KUTTU KHICHDI/BUCKWHEAT KHICHDI
1 cup buckwheat groat
1¼ cup water
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ cup coarsely chopped peanuts (roasted and shelled)
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup chopped fresh mint
2-3 green chilis finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp clove powder
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil/ghee
8-10 curry leaves
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1¼ – 1½ tsp sendha namak (rock salt)
- Wash buckwheat groat in water 3-4 times.
- Add one cup water from the measured water and let it soak for 30 – 60 minutes.
- Add the buckwheat groat and water into a pan.
- Add 1 tsp salt(from the measured amount) and cook the groat over medium heat till its done. This may take about 10-15 minutes. You don’t want it overcooked or mushy.
- Remove the cooked buckwheat into a plate and spread it out using a fork so that it cools down completely.
- Puree the coriander and mint into a fine paste. I used a food processor so didn’t add any water.
- Heat oil/ghee in a wide pan over medium heat.
- When it becomes hot, add cumin seeds, sesame seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle and pop, add the curry leaves and green chilis.
- Stir and add ginger paste.
- Add the chopped potato and remaining salt.
- Mix well, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook the potatoes till done. You may need to add the remaining ¼ cup water to help the potatoes to cook.
- Add the coarsely chopped peanuts and mix well.
- Add the green paste (mint and coriander) and mix well.
- Add coriander and clove powders, sugar and mix well.
- Add the buckwheat groat and lemon juice. Mix very well.
- Let the khichdi become hot over low heat, gently mixing it occasionally so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve khichdi on its own or with plain yogurt.
- Soaking buckwheat groat reduces cooking time.
- Adjust the spices /condiments according to your taste. I prefer less sugar and more lemon juice.
- Buckwheat groat doesn’t take long to cook so keep an eye as you don’t want it mushy.
- Add cubed paneer instead of potatoes if you like.
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