Here's why even celebrity dietician Rujuta Diwekar thinks Khichdi is the best food!
The simple and humble khichdi has now become world famous, and even celebrity dietician Rujuta Diwekar thinks its about time!
The very humble and wholesome khichdi rose to fame this week when it was announced that 800 kg of this rice and lentil dish would be prepared at the World Food Summit in Delhi.
The reason the government chose khichdi was “Brand India khichdi symbolizes India’s great culture of unity in diversity at its best,” reportedly said Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur.
This interestingly made khichdi a trending Twitter subject with people sharing their stories with the hashtag- “Brand India khichdi."
However, as much as this news made headlines, the fact is that this simple dish is also one of the most nutritious foods in India. And just to prove exactly that, celebrity dietician Rujuta Diwekar posted an open letter on Facebook, listing its various benefits.
Here's what she wrote:
An open letter from Khichdi -
I am in the news. Like, headline news. How do I feel about it? Nothing different actually. Maybe I am too old to feel excited about a momentary rush, and too laid back to get carried away. But I have a responsibility towards my fellow foods, the neglected, undervalued preparations in this country’s kitchens. We don’t know when, and if, our turn in the spotlight will come again, so I have to make use of this opportunity. I am going to talk about me, but I represent many. Listen up -
1. Not just food for the sick – Unless of course you count the obese, the diabetics, the heart patients, those with PCOD and thyroid problems, cancer, IBS and many more as sick. That the sick can eat me, even when they don’t feel like eating anything else, is my virtue, not a limitation. For centuries though, I have been the preferred dinner option across the country. Easy on the stomach, especially as digestion weakens post sunset, but exciting enough with the ghee, dahi, spices, pickle and papad, to cater to all tastes, I hereby lay claim to the best meal for dinner.
2. A balanced meal – The ghee, spices, pickle/ papad are not just for excitement, they make me the most ‘balanced meal,’ in the language you understand. Ghee lowers my GI and with rice adds a mixture of prebiotics to go with the probiotics like dahi, kadhi, pickle. Now that’s balance. The spices add flavor, along with many nutrients, some known to nutrition science, mostly yet to be discovered, but present in me nevertheless. My power lies in the proportion - little more rice, little less dal, some ghee, pinch of spices and herbs, a dash of salt, and in its perfectly balanced execution in your kitchen.
3. Future of food – The world is struggling with the triple burden of malnourishment – undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity. The scientists say the solution is plant protein. Doctoral thesis are being done on the best combinations of pulses, grains and spices which make for perfect meals. My dear countrymen and women, I am the future of food. I am the plant based protein meal which can help the hungry and overfed. Thank your ancestors for perfecting me over generations, testing and tweaking me in real life conditions. Now, present me to the world.
4. Simple and diverse - Like the Sa of the sargam, you will get the song of your life right, if you get me right. An artist will tell you that sa is the foundation, the ever steady sur and yet the sa of one raga sounds different from another. Just like the same dal and rice will taste different in a different home, region and community. This is not my falling but my greatest strength. I am food for the rich and the poor, for the devout and the atheist, the toddler and the ageing. I will blend but yet stay distinct. I am not just a dish, I am a part of the food system, I am your way of life. I am you.
We couldn't agree more.
This simple rice and lentil dish is not just easy to make, but also serves as a balanced meal and is perfect as a first solid food for a six-month-old.
But most importantly, khichdi is easy on the tummy and a basic dish can be made more scrumptious with the addition of spices, vegetables and condiments. For some interesting khichdi recipes for kids read this.