The Confederation of International Khishdis: One-pot rice dishes from around the world

There will be many this weekend to delve into the history of khichdi, the pot that doesn’t even need a fire to keep things boiling, as Birbal has proven. But let’s not go into the past. We know that the dish is from antiquity and Hobson Jobson, this glossary of Anglo-Indian words, traced his ancestor to a dish described by Ibn Batuta who visited the Sultanate of Delhi. Let’s look at things present and global – to the khichdi confederation! Because we humans are such a mishmash of influences and flavors and not very sophisticated either, it’s hardly surprising that some of our pop dishes, not just in India but around the world, are versions of khichdi, comforting sick hearts and bodies. , supporting national pride. Brand India is not alone in aligning itself with the hodgepodge. If there was a united nation of khishdis, many countries would be represented in the same way by their one-pot rice dishes. Among its most prominent representatives, the Confederation of Khishdis would certainly have:

1. Paella, Spain brand: The Spaniards claim it as their national dish but the Valencians, being Catalans and therefore separate and different, scoff at these claims. The real Paella they claim is their own Valencia brand. And while there are vegetarian versions, it’s the rabbit-rice mix that’s really legit, they say. Like our own khihdi, paella has ancient roots but did not appear in its modern salable version until the 19th century, apparently. While there are many versions, those who claim the original say the recipe should have white rice, green beans, meat (chicken and rabbit), white beans, snails, and seasonings such as saffron and rosemary. In seafood paella, beans and meat are omitted, while freestyle paellas are everywhere.

The Spaniards claim it as their national dish but the Valencians

2. Kushari, Egypt brand: Forget the falafel, when I was in Egypt touring this troubled land with armed escorts I was told to try the kushari in the local street stalls. Kushari is kosher food, for those who abstain from meat. It is however very popular as street food, even though it is a product of 19th century Egyptian multiculturalism. Everything from rice, macaroni and lentils to tomato sauce and garlic vinegar ends up in the dish. Don’t expect any subtlety or finesse. But then that’s exactly what a khichdi is supposed to be!

3. Congee, Guangdong brand: Now if you want things to be a little more pristine, think congee. Rice porridge with all its sides that can range from fish to gravy is a healthy, gut-friendly Far Eastern breakfast dish accessible to rich and poor alike. Are you sure you want to eat something else?


Now if you want things to be a little more pristine, think congee4. Risotto, Italy brand: Brand India must have an Italian connection, so the two cultures are similar! When I tasted risotto for the first time, not in Milan with its peculiar saffron, but in New Delhi where Arborio was still an unknown term, restaurateur Bina Modi, of whom he was apparently the favorite, described it. like “Italian khichdi”. He is. The rice is sautéed in butter, everything from bone marrow to sausage and added onions. The broth must be added in stages unlike our own khichdi but the final comfort is undeniable.


The rice is sautéed in butter, everything from bone marrow to sausage and added onions5. Kedgeree, Great Britain brand: Smoked haddock, boiled rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, butter, cream and sometimes raisins … it’s the height of Victorian inventiveness. Kedgeree was inspired by khichdi and fashionable Anglo Indians have frequented it, but it’s Britain that can really claim this breakfast dish. Tempted to try?About the AuthorAnoothi ​​Vishal is a food columnist and writes for The Economic Times and NDTV Food, and runs the blog at She follows restaurant activity and culinary trends, and also researches and writes on the history of food and the cultural links between cuisines. Anoothi’s work with community kitchens led her to create The Great Delhi Pop-Up three years ago, where she promotes heritage, regional and community cuisines as well as sought-after food concepts and unrestored. She was also instrumental in reviving her own community’s Kayastha cuisine, a blend of Indo-Islamic traditions, which she cooks with her family and introduced India to a diverse audience.DisclaimerThe opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, adequacy or validity of the information contained in this article. All information is provided as is. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV assumes no responsibility in this regard.

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