Entry for Mahanandi Independence Day Food Parade::
KHICHADO:: from Gujarat

A very happy Independence day to all!
Since Ive only been cooking for the last couple of years, the word traditional / classical "food" really threw me for a loop. In between desperately dredging up memories of grandmas cooking and phone calls to the motherland i was struck by an epiphany, what is traditional in Indian cooking?

Our culinary traditions have been handed down generations orally, from mother to daughter (mostly- i think!). Fragments of memory and little modifications along the way, but at best we have a comprehensive culinary record of what - the last two hundred years? Vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes arrived in India after the new world, i.e the americas were discovered. It is our ability to transform whatever is at hand into something that our heart immediately knows is ours - ' Indian', if you want to call it that is perhaps the cornerstone of all indian cooking; something that unites all Indian states and regions.

Nuff ruminations already!! What I have here for Independence day is a really really authentic, real deal Gujarati recipe called Khichado. It is traditionally made for January 14th , Makarsankranti or Kite flying mania day, with young wheat berries from the famous Bhal wheat growing region of Gujarat. Best part is, it is both a recipe for a single dish and a meal in itself. I would recommend it as a good breakfast porridge.

1 cup spring wheat berries ( available at your local organic co-op)
1/2 cup Toor dal or Tuver dal
Handful raw peanuts
2 dried dates(kharek) or fresh dates
Pinch Haldi/ Turmeric
Red Chilli powder to taste
1/3rd cup fresh coconut

1 tbsp ginger
Green Chilli to taste
5 Cloves
2 inch Cinnamon


Soak the wheat berries in warm water overnight or for six hours minimum. Boil in the cooker with some extra water. Remove. At this point you could either give it a quick whirl in the mixer or pound with potato masher to make the wheat berries less chewy. I prefer the chewy texture and leave it as such. Cook the tuver dal / toor dal with the kharek or fresh dates, a pinch of salt , the handful of peanuts, and the coconut . In a pan take as much ghee as your arteries can stand, and add the seasonings in the following order - ajwain, cloves & cinnamon, ginger and finally green chilli. Combine the wheat berries, tuver. Add a pinch haldi or turmeric, red chilli - give it a quick boil. Add seasoning and serve.

Usually Gujarati food is a combination of salt and sweet. If you wish you can add more sugar preferably brown. Traditionally khichado is served with finely diced cucumber and onion as a meal in itself. Enjoy!!


Indira said...

Thanks for participating in IDFP, Priya. Khichado is a new recipe to me.

What you cook at home everyday is considered traditional or classic, I think.

Cuisines of the world have changed tremendously by the occupiers and travelers. Before travelling to our countries, can you imagine the cuisine of Europeans? Every cuisine has benefited from the travelling man, I think.

Unknown said...

Sounds yummy. Happy indepedence day.

Menu Today said...

I love Gujarathi Dish. Thanx for sharing. Happy Independence Day!!!

Krithika said...

This is such a nice dish. Never used wheat berries in my cooking. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Chandrika said...

Your recipe sounds yummy...will surely give it a try..Thank you for sharing...

Anonymous said...

What's spring wheat berries.Can you load the pic please.or gujarati name.