Methi Chicken Khichda is a tantalizing spicy Indian style savory porridge, an easy, balanced, nutritious one pot steaming meal with high fiber, good protein and healthy fats!
This is an inspired version of a traditional Indian delicacy known as Khichda, which is similar to the more well known dish – Haleem. One of the things that is different about the recipe here, is that I have chosen brown rice instead of wheat, and this has worked perfectly well.
I have used the fragrant fenugreek leaves to give this dish a different dimension. Besides, fenugreek (or methi) happens to be one of the dominant flavor principles in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. And I opted for lean chicken rather than the traditional red meat.
Fenugreek is an aromatic annual herbaceous plant that is popularly used in the Middle Eastern cuisine as well, like in this appetizing Persian Shrimp Quinoa Herb Rice.
The seeds and leaves of this plant have long been valued for a wide range of medicinal benefits – such as, for ease of childbirth, to increase milk supply in lactating women, to aid digestion, to improve metabolism, for treating diabetes and decreasing blood cholesterol.
The leaves are a good source of some vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and zinc. They are rich in choline, dietary fiber and antioxidants.
This Methi Chicken Khichda is ideal for a complete and easy meal option, especially in cold winters. That reminds me of another classic and hugely popular recipe – Persian Noodle Soup with Beans and Herbs.
These thick soups and porridge can also be prepared in a slow cooker. Now lets dig into this warm, sumptuous, spicy, wholesome concoction!
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
- 3/4 cup basmati rice brown
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 1/2 cup mung beans whole
- 1/2 cup chana dal (split chickpeas)
- 1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
- 1/4 cup olive oil *
- 2 cups onions * thinly sliced (300 grams)
- 3/4 pound chicken breast (cut in one inch pieces)
- 1½ tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander ground
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice blend)
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper or green chilies, chopped, adjust per taste
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped
- 1/3 cup fenugreek leaves * fresh, chopped or 2 tbsp dried
- 1/3 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
- 3 chicken bone broth (more if needed)
- Salt as per taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice as per taste
- 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
- 1 tablespoon garlic grated
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mint dried
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 pinches red pepper flakes Aleppo, optional
Place the brown rice, barley, mung beans, split chickpeas and red lentils in a cooking pot.
Add about 5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and cook it until soft. May take 30 minutes approx.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the onions over medium heat until golden brown, which may take about 20 minutes.
Drain the oil. Approximately 3 tablespoons of oil should be drained.
In a cooking pot heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the chicken. Let the water evaporate and brown the chicken pieces lightly.
Add ginger garlic paste and stir couple minutes. Then add turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne pepper and mix it. Next, add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.
Then add the cooked rice/barley/lentils and mix.
Add Fenugreek, cilantro, bone broth, half the fried onions and some salt. Bring it all to a boil. Reduce the heat to low setting and simmer it for about 20 or more minutes until well cooked. Add more broth as needed.
Stir the lemon juice into the Methi Chicken Khichda as per taste. Adjust the consistency, salt, lemon juice and other spices to taste.
For seasoning, heat one tablespoon of oil or ghee. Add grated garlic and stir 2 to 3 minutes until lightly toasted.
Turn off the heat and add dried mint, turmeric and red pepper flakes, if you prefer. Make sure to not let the spices burn in this last step.
Ladle the Methi Chicken Khichda into a serving bowl. Top it with the garlic-turmeric-mint-oil mixture, remaining fried onions and some fresh cilantro.
May serve some additional lemon slices on the side with this Methi Chicken Khichda.
Make sure to use a mandolin slicer for thin onion slices.
Frozen chopped fresh fenugreek leaves can be found in Indian and Middle Eastern stores.
Brown basmati rice, mung beans, dals, spices and dried herbs are available at Indian and Middle Eastern stores.
Serving Size: One Cup
Calories 227, Total Fat 5 g (Saturated Fat 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g), Cholesterol 18 mg, Sodium* 239 mg, Potassium 493 mg, Phosphorus 210 mg, Total Carbohydrate 32 g, Dietary Fiber 8 g, Sugars 4 g, Protein 14 g
*Not including any added salt. Check for any added salt in other ingredients and adjust.