Makar Sankranti is the marking of a new year as per Hindu Solar Calendar. So for many of us who believe in the legend of Makar Sankranti, it is actually the embarking of a new year. For me, it is the perfect warm winter day to enjoy Urad Dal Khichdi with ghee, papad, dahi and achaar. This khichdi eating ritual is one of my favorite food memories of the childhood. Every now and then I try to relive this memory by making urad dal khichdi to celebrate the festival of Makar Sankranti.
Popular Makar Sankranti Food Rituals:
- Kumaoni Bada (Urad Dal Vada)
- Meethe Chawal (Zarda Pulao)
- Bhuni Khichdi
- Til Ke Gajak/Ladoo
- Pahadi Ghughute
The split urad dal (chilka urad dal) has some sort of divine connection with the festival of Makar Sankranti. In the Kumaoni culture, it is must to consume chilka urad dal either in the form of khichdi or bada on the day of Makar Sankranti. And not to forget tons of ghee need to be consumed with this urad dal khichdi. Why? Maybe because of the added flavor and to make it easily digestible. Whatever be the reason or tradition, I thoroughly enjoy urad dal khichdi laced with plenty of homemade ghee.
Those of you complaining about the busy schedule I must tell you this urad dal khichdi is done in a pressure cooker. Though I know my grandmother’s soul won’t rest in peace seeing me cooking her favorite khichdi in a pressure cooker. But like you, I too have busy weekdays and demanding weekends. So I did cheat a little bit and adapted the quick route to making urad dal khichdi. You can make it in a slow cooker too. I stick to my pressure cooker for everyday Indian meals and totally love the end results.
Hope you enjoy this urad dal khichdi on the day of Makar Sankranti. And don’t forget to have loads of ghee, papad, and achaar with it. I am sure these sides will double the flavor of the khichdi.
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- 1 Cup split urad dal chilka urad dal
- 2 Cup basmati rice
- 2 teaspoon cumin seeds jeera
- 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida hing
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- Soak dal overnight in enough water or for atleast 6 hours.
- Next morning you will notice that the black peel of the dal start leaving the white skin underneath.
- Rub the dal in small batches in between your palms to remove the black peel. Each time drain the black peel.
- After 2 - 3 times you will end up with majorly white skinned dal with few black peel here and there.
- Let the dal sit in colander for 5 - 10 minutes for excess water to drain off.
- Meanwhile soak rice in enough water.
- Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
- Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Let the seeds fry for less than a minute.
- Add the dal in the pressure cooker. Roast the dal nicely for next 2 - 3 minutes.
- Now add the salt and spices along with 1 Cup of water.
- Cook the dal for one whistle over low heat. Allow the steam to release naturally from the pressure cooker.
- Drain water from the soaked rice. Add rice in the same pressure cooker as dal. Stir to mix.
- Add 2 Cups or enough water to cook the rice. Close the lid and cook the rice for one whistle over low heat. Allow the steam to release naturally from the pressure cooker.
- Serve Urad Dal Khichdi warm with ghee, papad and achaar.