|Alternative names||Khichdi, khichadi, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri (Bengali), khisiri (Assamese), khechidi/khechudi (Odia), kisuri (Sylheti), khichari, kitcheree, kitchree|
|Region or state||Indian Subcontinent|
|Associated national cuisine||India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago|
|Main ingredients||Rice, lentils, spices|
|Variations||Mung dal khichri, bajra-ri-khichri (Rajasthani millet khichri), sadi khichri (lentil and rice khichri)|
Khichri (Hindi: khicṛī, pronounced [ˈkʰɪtʃɽi], Bengali: Khichuri) is a dish in South Asian cuisine made of rice and lentils (dal), but other variations include bajra and mung dal khichri. In Indian culture, in several regions, especially in the northern areas, it is considered one of the first solid foods that babies eat. Hindus, mainly from north/northwest, who avoid eating grains during fasting, eat Sabudana khichri made from sago. In the southern part of India, however, the word khichri is not that popular. While people of Tamil Nadu and Andhra regions cook Pongal, and Kannadigas prepare Bisi bele bhath, Keralites have no similar dish. Khichri is a salty porridge. Dalia is another similar sweet porridge made from the crushed wheat or barley mixed with sugar and milk.
Etymology and spelling
Some divergence of transliteration may be noted in the third consonant in the word khicṛī. The sound is the retroflex flap [ɽ], which is written in Hindi with the Devanagari letter ⟨ड़⟩, and in Urdu script with the Perso-Arabic letter ⟨ڑ⟩. In Hindustani phonology, the etymological origin of the retroflex flap was /ɖ/ when it occurred between vowels. Hence in Devanagari the letter ⟨ड⟩, representing /ɖ/, was adapted to write /ɽ/ by adding a diacritic under it. In Urdu script, the phonological quality of the flap was represented by adapting the letter ⟨ر⟩, representing /r/, with a diacritic added above it to indicate the retroflex quality. The occurrence of this consonant in the word khicṛī has given rise to two alternative spellings in English: khichri, which reflects its phonology, and khichdi, which reflects its etymology.
The Greek king Seleucus during his campaign in India (305-303 BC), mentioned that rice with pulses is very popular among people of the Indian subcontinent. Strabo also notes that Indian food mainly consisted of rice porridge and a beverage made of rice, presently called Arak. The Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta mentions kishri as a dish in India composed of rice and mung beans, during his stay around 1350. Khichri is described in the writings of Afanasiy Nikitin, a Russian adventurer who travelled to the Indian subcontinent in the 15th century. It was very popular with the Mughals, especially Jahangir. Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th-century document, written by Mughal Emperor Akbar's vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, mentions the recipe for khichri, which gives seven variations. There is an anecdotal story featuring Akbar, Birbal and khichri.
Khichri is a very popular dish across the Indian subcontinent, including in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan also. The dish is widely prepared in many Indian states, such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Maharashtra. Vegetables such as cauliflower, potato, and green peas are commonly added.
Khichri is a popular traditional staple in Haryana, specially in the rural areas. Haryanvi khichri is made from pearl millet and mung dal (split mung bean) pounded in mortar (unkhal), and often eaten by mixing with warm ghee or lassi, or even yogurt. Sometimes, jowar is also mixed with bajra and mung dal.Khichri is salty and dalia is another similar sweet porridge made from the crushed wheat or barley mixed with sugar and milk.
The Hyderabadi Muslim community, of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, in present-day Telangana, Marathwada, and Hyderabad-Karnataka regions, make khichri as a common breakfast dish, and is an important part of Hyderabadi cuisine. The dish is called khichri, kheema, khatta, or other switch-around versions of the previous, named after the three parts of the meal, Khichri, ground beef, and a sour sauce, made of tamarind and sesame.
Khichra and khichri
National dish controversy
In 2017, Indian media unofficially designated it as the "national dish", as it is being globally promoted by the government of India as "queen of all foods". The report that the government may designate khichri as India's "national dish" brought significant ridicule from the opposition politicians.
However, India's Minister of Food Processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal clarified that while khichri is considered nutritious and healthy food in India, the government did not have any plans to designate a national food.
In popular culture
Khichri has lent its name to media synonymous with ensembles or potpourri as depicted in the popular culture through movies such as Khichdi: The Movie, and TV sitcoms such as Khichdi (franchise), Khichdi (TV series), and Instant Khichdi.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Khichri.|
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