Benefits of Khichdi: A Rice and Lentil Dish That Is Super Healthy
Khichdi is easy to digest Pakistani and Indian-origin dish cooked from rice and lentils (dal) with various variations. It is very famous in India and Pakistan for its various health benefits.
It is also considered the first solid meal for babies and toddlers.
Additionally, khichdi is the food of choice for an upset stomach because of its soft nature. Well, I will cover its all health benefits below.
Let’s first cover the basics and background of khichdi.
If you are not interested in reading the background, you can go straight to the health benefits of khichdi here.
- 1 Khichdi History
- 2 What is Khichdi Made Of?
- 3 Versatility of Khichdi
- 4 Different Ways to Make Khichdi
- 5 Nutritional Facts of Khichdi
- 6 Health Benefits of Khichdi
- 7 Common Questions, Myths & Misconceptions About Khichdi
- 8 In Summary:
Khichdi dates back to 305-303 BC when a Greek King Seleucus, once in India, said that rice with pulses is most popular among the Indian subcontinent.
Similarly, the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta mentioned “kishri” (khichdi) as a cuisine in India made up of rice and mung beans (moong dal), throughout his stay around 1350.
On the other hand, many other famous emperors and travelers mentioned the Khichdi recipe that they ate during their visits to the Indian subcontinent.
What is Khichdi Made Of?
The main ingredients in khichdi are rice, lentils, and spices. However, there are many variations in the khichdi recipe and prepared with vegetables, chana dal, moong dal, masoor dal, green moong dal, oats, and Toor dal.
In coastal Maharashtra, it is prepared with prawns.
In Pakistan, khichdi or khichri (in Urdu: کھچڑی) is prepared with rice and pulses or lentils and has salt as a condiment. It might even have baghaar (Tarka), where fried onion and cumin seeds (jeera) are added.
Versatility of Khichdi
There are many kinds of khichdi varieties: the Indian, the Bangladeshi, the South Indian, the Punjabi, and the Pakistani. Each one of them has its own distinct tastes and characteristics.
All of them are very tasty and can be eaten with dal or vegetables in hot weather and cold weather. Nutritional Value of Khichdi Khichdi is made from enriched rice, soaked, strained, and then cooked in water and added with gram, ginger, salt, and garlic.
It consists of proteins, carbohydrates, and some fiber. It is a must for a healthy and complete meal, that consists of fiber to keep us regular.
Different Ways to Make Khichdi
Fresh lentils are the most preferred variety to make the dish because they don’t take as long as the frozen ones. One cup of dried lentils can make about 2 cups of the dish.
If you don’t have fresh lentils, you can use them anyway. No matter the type, make it according to the ingredients that you have.
I have written a detailed blog post on How to Make a Soft & Chewy Pakistani Khichdi | Step-by-Step Video Recipe, check this and learn how you can make a soft khichdi in a step-by-step video.
Nutritional Facts of Khichdi
Many persons fail to see an inexpensive way to get a variety of nutrients from lentils. They are fully packed with bundles of different nutritions that are very helpful in regulating different bodily functions.
Different lentils have slight variations in their nutrient contents, one 198 grams of a cup of cooked lentils generally has the following nutrients (source):
RDI = Reference Daily Intake
- Calories: 230
- Carbs: 39.9 grams
- Protein: 17.9 grams
- Fat: 0.8 grams
- Fiber: 15.6 grams
- Thiamine: 22% (RDI)
- Niacin: 10% (RDI)
- Vitamin B6: 18% (RDI)
- Folate: 90% (RDI)
- Pantothenic acid: 13% (RDI)
- Iron: 37% (RDI)
- Magnesium: 18% (RDI)
- Phosphorous: 36% (RDI)
- Potassium: 21% (RDI)
- Zinc: 17% (RDI)
- Copper: 25% (RDI)
- Manganese: 49% (RDI)
As it is an important part of a simple, wholesome, and nutritious Ayurvedic diet, it has several health benefits. Let’s cover them one by one below.
It has been featured on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of the eight foods that can help you lose weight.
Khichdi also helps in weight loss and gain good health because it is also low in fat, contains fiber, and is very high in protein.
It also contains a high amount of minerals like calcium and iron which helps in the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Due to its softness, a bowl of Khichdi will digest within 3 hours due to its high fiber content. This is the reason why this dish is ideal for weight loss.
As we all know that lentils are a type of legume, which is very low in cholesterol and calories. Even consuming two cups of white rice would be a great way to control our calorie intake.
Thus, a wholesome meal is important for weight loss. It is one of the most complete meals for you to eat as you take it in small portions.
So, if you have been on a weight-loss mission, you should definitely give it a try.
Upset Stomach & Diarrhea
Upset Stomach One of the best ways to cure an upset stomach is by feeding it with rice and lentils. These are the root of your problems.
Khichdi is the ideal food to cure your upset stomach because it contains a good amount of dietary fiber that will help in digesting your food.
Khichdi is also high in fiber and also has good bacteria in it that help indigestion.
Khichdi is very similar to rice and lentils because of its softness and protein. Thus, it acts as a perfect medicine for upset stomachs. In fact, it is the best dish that helps you to reduce pain.
Full Source of Macronutrients
The ingredients used in the preparation of khichdi are essential nutrients. They contain the body’s total amount of energy to perform various bodily functions.
Thus, it can be called the ultimate source of energy. Proteins, in fact, one bowl of khichdi can contain almost 30 grams of proteins.
This is equal to one meal. This is good for those who have an improper food intake. They lack the right kind of protein.
On the other hand, some individuals do not get enough proteins in their diet. It can prevent from getting full and stay energetic.
Khichdi is packed with fiber. Many individuals are not able to take in all the nutrients in a single meal due to the fiber in the form of channa dal. This is one of the main reasons people are not able to maintain their weight. Obesity It is advisable to avoid eating large portions of proteins because they are digested rapidly, leading to an increased feeling of hunger shortly after.
Good for Diabetes
Diabetes, on the contrary, khichdi is considered a great way to control blood sugar levels in persons who have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, both types of diabetes require the body to produce insulin.
Although khichdi is high in fiber content, it is not as well known in the West as it is in the East. It’s not low-calorie either. You can eat rice and lentils together and still be on target to control blood sugar.
Khichdi helps in managing blood sugar levels, which is really good for people with type-2 diabetes. It also helps in keeping blood sugar levels in control by keeping the blood glucose levels stable.
One of the reasons why individuals with diabetes have more trouble controlling their blood sugar is because they tend to eat too much sugar. Because khichdi contains few carbohydrates, it is a great choice for patients who have diabetes, as it has a lot of protein and fiber.
Good for Heart Health
Khichdi is rich in several nutrients, including Vitamins A, B, and C. It also contains a good amount of iron, iodine, and zinc. These nutrients are known to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Studies have shown that persons who eat whole grains have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and a lower chance of developing diabetes.
Moreover, it is high in fiber.
A Natural Detox for Body
One serving of khichdi is a great natural and healthy food option for a detox. Khichdi contains high amounts of fiber, protein, and lots of water.
It is easy to digest. So, for the body to absorb nutrients, they should be easily digested and assimilated by the human body.
So, if you are not eating solid food, then what do you eat?
Khichdi is high in protein content. Cooked rice contains amino acids that help build muscles and repair the muscles. In addition, a proper proportion of carbohydrates and proteins helps the body absorb the amino acids.
These help in maintaining a balanced metabolism, preventing the accumulation of lactic acid. This is what creates the feeling of being tired and weak and it is known as lethargy.
Khichdi provides a complete package of vitamins and minerals. It is especially high in potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and fiber,
Common Questions, Myths & Misconceptions About Khichdi
What Khichdi is Called in English?
Khichdi or Khichri is an Urdu or Hindi word. However, in English, it is called Farrago.
Can Khichdi Lose Weight?
Yes, khichdi is low in calories and a good choice for a person who wants to lose weight. There are very few calories in a single dish and has no protein.
But people who are not used to it can eat 3-4 cups of khichdi every day and get significant weight loss. Khichdi has very few carbohydrates. One can achieve a weight loss of 12-15 kg in about 4-5 months.
Can Khichdi Cause Diarrhea?
No, khichdi will not cause diarrhea, but if you’re new to this dish, I’d recommend you have a light snack before eating the dish to avoid any diarrhea.
Can Khichdi Cause Gas or Flatulence?
Yes, at times it can cause flatulence, because of starch content in it. But not if you boil it or heat it properly and add spices and salt.
Which Khichdi is Best for Weight Loss?
Khichdi made with Moong Dal is best for weight loss. This is because Moong Dal is full of nutrition, especially proteins. Proteins are known as the best nutrients for weight loss.
Difference Between Khichdi and Khichda
Kichda or Khichda is the version of khichdi without dal. Here is how it is different:
Khichdi is a dish made of rice and lentils. Khichda is made of rice and/or lentils, but with specific cooking instructions.
For example, khichda is cooked with spices and may contain other ingredients like masala. It is what you see in the restaurant and Chinese restaurants.
So, the main difference is the cooking method.
In normal cooking, you can put in whatever you like and it will turn out good. The variation is not limited to the type of rice and the type of lentils. And if you want to include other kinds of lentils (such as red lentils) in the recipe, you can. But don’t go beyond that.
Khichda is popular in North India as it is the dish in which curry is cooked. Khichda has lentils in it, but it is not common in North India.