Monday, 16 November 2009

Chickdee/ Broken Red Rice, Lentil & Chicken Khichdee

There are times in the year.... when one season changes to another, ....when leaves burnt red from summer fall graciously on earth,.... when you see people change their wardrobes and bring out their woolens and when you hear the first sneeze! You know winter is approaching and you also know that this drastic change in weather is going to bring our favorite enemy....the common cold. Well, then there are rounds of home remedies like ginger and pepper kashayam or the usual coldarin's, anacin's, vicks vaporubs coming out of your shelf. Try as much as u will but our temporary guest just loves his host.
So, if cant beat it then join it. That's exactly what i thought when i was down with my first bout of cold after marriage. I was just so tired of having the usual chicken soup and kanji (gruel made from red boiled rice popular in south india) and pickle and wanted a desperate change from boring food. As you see desperation became the mother of invention in my case and i put everything together with some dal(lentils) and that was the beginning of "Chickdee", the chicken version of khichdee. It's made with broken red boiled rice which is the ideal food while you are ill, dal gives it that extra protien and the chicken made in the similar way you would make clear soup is great for your cold. Cooked together, all these ingredients makes a steaming broth which is so dense, that it just refuses to go cold in its bowl, even on a wintry day. So even your last spoonful will be warm and that is the best thing you could ask for when its cold. I always top my plate with freshly grated pepper, which really soothes my throat when this warm, mushy and delicious chickdee goes down it.

Serves 6

Chicken - 600gms (about half a chicken cut into medium size peices, use the pieces with bones)
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup, washed
Broken Boiled Red Rice - 1 cup, washed(if you cant find broken rice read tip at the end of recipe)
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Onions - 2 medium size, chopped fine
Tomato - 1 medium size, chopped
Cloves - 3 nos
Cinnamom - 1/2 " piece
Cardamom - 3 nos.
Bay leaf - 1no.
Turmeric pwd - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli pwd - 1 tsp
Freshly grated pepper - 1 tbsp + more while serving
Salt to taste
Water - 4 cups
Corriander leaves for garnishing

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pressure cooker pan. Add cloves, cinnamom, cardamom and bay leaves.
2. When the spices pop add the chopped onions. Fry on high heat untill brown. (about 5 mins)
3. Lower heat and add tomatoes. Add turmeric pwd and red chilli pwd. Fry untill the tomatoes are soft.
4. Add the chicken and saute for a minute.
5. Add dal and rice and mix well untill combined.
6. Add 4 cups water, salt to taste and 1 tbsp freshly grated pepper. Mix well. Close the cooker lid and bring to full pressure. ( on high heat untill you hear 1 whistle) Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 mins. Let the pressure release on its own.
7. Once the pressure has come down completely, open the lid. If you like your chickdee like a porridge add 1 cup water. (This dish has the ability to absorb a lot of water, so every time you reheat it you will have to add more water.)
8. Pour onto your bowl. Garnish with chopped corriander leaves and sprinkle with freshly grated pepper to your taste. Eat Warm and be Happy!

P.S. : If you cannot find broken boiled rice you will have to par boil boiled rice. I usually put the rice in  P.C.  with 5 times the quantity of water. Bring P.C. to full pressure on high heat(1st whistle). Lower heat to medium-low and cook untill 3 whistles. Let pressure come down on its own. Use this half cooked rice and you may also add the broth.

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