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Bajra Khichdi with Kachumber – Gluten-Free, Nutritious & Comforting Winter Meal

DinnerLunchIndianVegan

It is a simple, warm, comforting, and delicious bajra khichdi (or Pearl Millet khichri). This is one nutritious and healthy meal that is perfect to make in cozy winters. I paired this mixed dal (lentils) bajra khichdi with a quick and easy kachumber salad not just because it makes this meal tastier but also to add some fresh vegetables to the meal. & not to forget some vitamins and minerals too. This complete meal is rich in all the vital nutrients – Protein, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Minerals, and Fats. And since bajra gives the body some warmth, it is perfect for a winter lunch or dinner recipe.

It is different from the regular khichdi which is made of rice and dal. It is more time-consuming and needs extra soaking and cooking time. But millets are very healthy and you must try this recipe.

Story Time

When I made it for the first time, I was not sure if Jatin, my husband, would like it or not. But to my surprise, he just loved it. That time, I added so many different vegetables in the bajra khichdi (pearl millet khichri) like carrots, beans, peas, tomatoes, etc. It was a mix-veg khichdi. And I didn’t know the measurements and by mistake made a little extra and he finished it completely 🙂 Yay!

Then I even suggested my mom to make this khichdi during the winters. She tried but couldn’t make it right. Yes. This khichdi is no joke. Pearl millets need their time to get fully cooked. So, don’t underestimate this tiny little millet. Plan ahead to make it. Anyway, since she could not make it well, she asked me to share the recipe so that she can try it again. That’s why I decided to make a video of my delicious bajra khichdi.

If you don’t have time, watch the video instead and if you enjoy it, please Subscribe to our Youtube channel too.

Easy Swaps

  1. Dals: You can use any lentils in the khichdi that you have in your kitchen. Just make sure to soak it. Soaking helps in better absorption of certain nutrients. Also, it ensures faster cooking.
  2. Vegetables: You can even add some vegetables in the khichdi – potato, tomato, french green beans, carrot, peas, cauliflower, etc. Just add them along with the bajra (pearl millet) and dals and cook. You will get a nice and nutritious mix-veg bajra khichdi.
  3. Kachumber Salad: Add any salad vegetable that you have in your kitchen – salad greens, cabbage, zucchini. Main ingredients for this salad are tomato and onion but you can add any salad vegetable of your choice.

What is Khichdi?

Khichdi or khichri is a popular Indian recipe made of rice and lentils. But many variations can be made like with millets, dalia (broken wheat), quinoa, different kinds of lentils (moong dal, masoor dal, urad dal, etc.), vegetables. Making it is quite easier. Just dump everything in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, season with some spices, add water and cook well. Then temper as you like it.

In some parts of India, it is even given to babies as their first solid food. But, of course, it is made to suit them. It is even made very simple, light, non-spicy, and given to patients. It is considered nutritious and easily digestible for them. Also, even when you are sick or your stomach is upset, khichdi is something that your body needs at that time. It feels light, soothing and gives you the energy to recover.

How to temper (or add tadka) Khichdi?

Khichdi can be tempered in many different ways and just by changing one or the ingredient, you create a different flavor each time. Following are some of our favorite tempering ingredients:

  1. Hing-Jeera: Sometimes, when I feel lazy and need a quick tadka or tempering, I just heat some oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Switch off the flame and add a pinch of good quality asafoetida (hing) and mix for a couple of seconds. Pour it over the khichdi and mix. You can even add dry red chilli to the tempering. It adds a nice flavor and aroma.
  2. Garlic: This tempring gives a very nice aroma not just to your khichdi but also to your kitchen. But only garlic lovers will like it. For this, just heat some oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and some cumin seeds (optional). Cook until it turns golden brown. Switch off the flame and add dry red chilli. Mix for a couple of seconds. The oil is hot enough to cook dry red chilli. Pour it over the khichdi and mix. You can even add a pinch of asafoetida to the tempering.
  3. Onion-Tomato: This one makes a simple boring khichdi quite exciting and restaurant-like. For this, heat some oil and add cumin seeds to it. Let them sizzle for a few seconds. Then add some chopped garlic and ginger. Saute until garlic is golden brown. Add chopped onions and saute until translucent. Don’t brown the onions. Once onions are done, add some chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. Then add it to the khichdi and mix well. Cover and cook for some time to let all the flavors get mixed up well. Serve hot.

How to serve Khichdi?

Bajra khichdi (or any khichdi) needs some complimentary side dishes and it is incomplete without them. That includes the following:

  1. Roasted Papad
  2. Indian Pickle or Achaar
  3. Boondi Raita
  4. Kachumber Salad

What are millets?

Millet is not the name of any particular grain but it is a class or a term that includes many different kinds of totally different small-seeded plants. It is an ancient grain that is grown in many different parts of the world. Millets are highly nutritious and healthy but not widely consumed maybe because of the lack of awareness.

Millets are classified into two categories – major and minor millets.

Major Millets include (with Hindi names):

  1. Pearl Millet (Bajra)
  2. Proso Millet (Chena)
  3. Foxtail Millet (Kangni)
  4. Finger Millet (Ragi)

Minor Millets include (With Hindi Names):

  1. Barnyard Millet (Sanva)
  2. Little Millet (Sama)
  3. Guinea Millet
  4. Browntop Millet (Choti Kangni)
  5. Kodo Millet (Kodo)
  6. Sorghum (Jowar)

They are much more fibrous than any cereals or grains that include wheat, rice, barley, oats, etc. They are gluten-free, rich in calcium, iron, and anti-oxidants.

(source: https://nutritionfacts.org/)

Is this recipe Vegan?

Yes. This bajra khichdi recipe is totally plant-based and vegan.

If you are not vegan, you can temper the khichdi using ghee or clarified butter instead of cooking oil. And top it up with some cow ghee, if you like.

If you are vegan, you can even temper it with some vegan butter and finish it off with that too while serving. It adds a very nice taste to it.

How to cook Bajra Khichdi in a Pressure Cooker?

  1. Soak – Since bajra (pearl millets take a lot of time to cook, it is imporrant to soak them overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours. Without soaking, it will be difficult to cook them well and soften.
  2. Pressure Cook – Add Bajra and water in the pressure cooker (measurements given in the recipe below). Season with some spices and then close the lid (with whistle). Cook on high flame till first whistle. Lower the flame and cook for another 35 – 40 minutes. Once cooked, let it depressurise on its own. Do not release the pressure. Once it is depressurised, open the lid and check. Bajra should be soft, cooked and mushy while presing between the fingers.

More Khichdi Recipes (video only):

  1. Multi-Millets Khichdi
  2. Mix Veg Dalia Khichdi
  3. Mix Veg Millet Khichdi

Tools and equipments needed

  1. Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

More Dinner Recipes

  1. Quinoa Pulao
  2. Italian Minestrone Soup
  3. Punjabi Wadi Pulao
  4. Veg Khow Suey

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this Indian vegetarian/vegan meal at home. It is perfect for lunch or dinner. If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Bajra Khichdi with Kachumber – Gluten-Free, Nutritious & Comforting Winter Meal

Gluten-Free. Nutritious. Wholesome.

Servings

2

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

45 min

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

Bajra Khichdi

  • 1/2 cup Pearl Millet (Bajra)
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • 1/4 cup Green Moong Dal
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 2 tbsp Urad Dhuli Dal
  • 3.5 cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)

Tempering

  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 or 2 clove Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing) powdered
  • 2 Dry Red Chilli

Kachumber Salad

  • 1 Onion (medium) chopped
  • 1 Tomato (medium) chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cucumber chopped
  • 1/4 cup Pink Radish (or white) chopped
  • 2 Green Chilli
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste

Steps

Bajra Khichdi

  1. Soak Bajra in water overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours. Wash 2 to 3 times with water.
  2. Soak lentils (yellow moong, green moong, chana dal, and urad dal) in water for at least 30 minutes. Wash 2 to 3 times with water.
  3. Add bajra and lentils in the Instant Pot along with water and all the spices - salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder. 
    You can even use a pressure cooker. Instructions for that are given in the write-up above.
  4. Close the lid and pressure cook for 40 - 45 minutes. Let it depressurize on its own. 
  5. Once done, everything should be soft and well cooked. 
    Adjust the water in khichdi depending on the consistency you need.

Tempering

  1. Heat some oil in a tadka pan (or any pan). Add chopped garlic and cumin seeds. Let them sizzle till the garlic is slightly brown. Switch off the flame.
  2. Add asafoetida and dry red chilli. Mix & cook for a couple of seconds. 
  3. Pour over the tempering on the khichdi. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and mix. Serve hot with some kachumber salad.

Kachumber Salad

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Squish and mix using your hands. That's it. It is done. 
    You can even mix with a spoon but mixing with hands releases the juice and makes the salad tastier.
frequently asked questions

FAQs

What is Khichdi?
+
Khichdi or khichri is a popular Indian recipe made of rice and lentils. But many variations can be made like with millets, dalia (broken wheat), quinoa, different kinds of lentils (moong dal, masoor dal, urad dal, etc.), vegetables. Making it is quite easier. Just dump everything in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, season with some spices, add water and cook well. Then temper as you like it. In some parts of India, it is even given to babies as their first solid food. But, of course, it is made to suit them. It is even made very simple, light, non-spicy, and given to patients. It is considered nutritious and easily digestible for them. Also, even when you are sick or your stomach is upset, khichdi is something that your body needs at that time. It feels light, soothing and gives you the energy to recover.

How to temper (or add tadka) Khichdi?
+
Khichdi can be tempered in many different ways and just by changing one or the ingredient, you create a different flavor each time. Following are some of our favorite tempering ingredients:
  1. Hing-Jeera: Sometimes, when I feel lazy and need a quick tadka or tempering, I just heat some oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Switch off the flame and add a pinch of good quality asafoetida (hing) and mix for a couple of seconds. Pour it over the khichdi and mix. You can even add dry red chili to the tempering. It adds a nice flavor and aroma.
  2. Garlic: This tempring gives a very nice aroma not just to your khichdi but also to your kitchen. But only garlic lovers will like it. For this, just heat some oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and some cumin seeds (optional). Cook until it turns golden brown. Switch off the flame and add dry red chili. Mix for a couple of seconds. The oil is hot enough to cook dry red chili. Pour it over the khichdi and mix. You can even add a pinch of asafoetida to the tempering.
  3. Onion-Tomato: This one makes a simple boring khichdi quite exciting and restaurant-like. For this, heat some oil and add cumin seeds to it. Let them sizzle for a few seconds. Then add some chopped garlic and ginger. Saute until garlic is golden brown. Add chopped onions and saute until translucent. Don’t brown the onions. Once onions are done, add some chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. Then add it to the khichdi and mix well. Cover and cook for some time to let all the flavors get mixed up well. Serve hot.

How to serve Khichdi?
+
Khichdi (or khichri) needs some complimentary side dishes and it is incomplete without them. That includes the following:
  1. Roasted Papad
  2. Indian Pickle or Achaar
  3. Boondi Raita
  4. Kachumber Salad

What are millets?
+
Millet is not the name of any particular grain but it is a class or a term that includes many different kinds of totally different small-seeded plants. It is an ancient grain that is grown in many different parts of the world. Millets are highly nutritious and healthy but not widely consumed maybe because of the lack of awareness. They are much more fibrous than any cereals or grains that include wheat, rice, barley, oats, etc. They are gluten-free, rich in calcium, iron, and anti-oxidants. Millets are classified into two categories – major and minor millets. Major millets include:
  • Pearl Millet (Bajra)
  • Proso Millet (Chena)
  • Foxtail Millet (Kangni)
  • Finger Millet (Ragi)
Minor Millets include:
  • Barnyard Millet (Sanva)
  • Little Millet (Sama)
  • Guinea Millet
  • Browntop Millet (Choti Kangni)
  • Kodo Millet (Kodo)
  • Sorghum (Jowar)

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