Comfort in simplicity…

by Sunita on September 3, 2007

We all have our own definitions of comfort food…and I am often driven to believe that most of us derive the most comfort from dishes which are very simple to make, filling and at the same time soothing to the senses, and which also evokes fond memories…well, at least for me that is how comfort food is defined.

During my college days, my eating schedule was quite erratic…due to the hectic routine, I ended up eating at odd hours, and this did cause a few heartburns. At that stage, ma decided that enough was enough, and made sure that I never left the house with a half full tummy and that I had enough of a decent meal inside me to last the major part of the day… in other words, something simple, and at the same time filling as well.

Ma used to cook up for me a simple moogor dalir khisiri, which is none other than a khichdi of skinned and split mung beans with rice and vegetables.


All that ma did was to…

  1. Boil the rice and lentils ( in the ratio of 1:3) together along with chopped potatoes and other vegetables (in this case, I added peas, finely chopped carrots and sweetcorn) in enough water along with a couple of pods of chopped garlic and a little chopped ginger.
  2. They were allowed to simmer till the rice and lentils were mushy and the vegetables were cooked. More water was added if necessary… it had to be of a thick pouring consistency, like a sort of porridge.
  3. A little turmeric powder was then added, seasoned with salt, and just before removing from heat, a generous helping of butter was added.

That’s it! My comfort food was ready and a steaming bowl would be placed in front of me. And my word…I never thought…and I still wonder to this day, how something so simple can give one so much of pleasure and gratification…not to forget the comfort ( no more empty bellies and heartburn!!:D) I have always complained at eating fully in the morning…but with this dish, I hardly knew how much I devoured.

That has always been and still is my number one comfort food…and I have passed on that feeling to my later life dear ones as well…the kids love it too and since Dinesh and me share the same taste buds ( thank heavens for that !!:D), he too deeply relishes it…the fact that this humble dish has comforted so many of us, goes to show how great comfort can be derived from the simplest of things.

Now, when I place bowls of this khisiri to my family and see them relish it, and ask for more, it gives me a sense of satisfaction …and of course, comforts me to see them enjoying their meal, and evokes fond memories…probably my worrying ma must have felt that same comfort when she saw me digging my spoon into my bowl filled with this goodness, with glee…I never remember saying ‘no’ to it. Aren’t mother’s wonderful?!!! This one is really for you ma…god bless all mothers!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 musical September 3, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Our love affair with khichri is quite similar, Sunita :) . This post misted my eyes, especially the last few lines…..i wish i could say my feelings in words.

hugs,
musical.

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2 Tee September 3, 2007 at 11:03 pm

The title of your post says it all!
Mothers…what would we do without them being around…Amen to your last sentence! :)

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3 Sreelu September 4, 2007 at 12:22 am

Hmm Sunitha this dish looks as warm as mother’s love.
Kudos to all the mom’s !!!

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4 Cynthia September 4, 2007 at 1:09 am

I’ve got to try this Sunita, it looks so soothing – like a mother’s touch.

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5 Raaga September 4, 2007 at 2:15 am

Would you believe me if I told you I used to eat this almost everyday??? Because it was comforting nutritious and was a one pot meal!!

Beautiful.

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6 Anh September 4, 2007 at 3:23 am

Sunita. What a bowl of comfort!

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7 Sirisha Kilambi September 4, 2007 at 3:23 am

Sunita…a touching post dear…loved ur dish :-)

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8 Nags September 4, 2007 at 5:00 am

lovely and simple and healthy recipe :)

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9 Vcuisine September 4, 2007 at 5:09 am

One bowl is enough Sunita. Viji

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10 sunita September 4, 2007 at 8:58 am

musical,every time I make it, I’m transported back in time…mists my eyes as well(even when I was writing about it).

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11 sunita September 4, 2007 at 8:59 am

tee, Amen indeed!…glad you dropped by…

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12 sunita September 4, 2007 at 9:04 am

sreelu, it’s very comforting indeed!

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13 sunita September 4, 2007 at 9:06 am

cynthia, do try it…hope you’ll derive the same comfort:)

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14 sunita September 4, 2007 at 9:07 am

raaga, we Indians are very good at eating khichris, aren’t we?

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15 sunita September 4, 2007 at 9:15 am

anh, thanks…it’s comfort indeed!

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16 sunita September 4, 2007 at 9:16 am

nags, thanks…yes, it’s a healthy one-pot meal!

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17 sunita September 4, 2007 at 9:18 am

viji, yes indeed!glad you dropped by:)

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18 Rajitha September 4, 2007 at 1:48 pm

looks so delicious, something you would definately want seconds of..

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19 sunita September 4, 2007 at 2:19 pm

rajitha, thanks…we usually do want seconds:)

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20 TBC September 4, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Beautiful pics, Sunita . Your khichdi looks very good.

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21 sunita September 4, 2007 at 3:44 pm

tbc, thanks…we really love it:)

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22 Suganya September 4, 2007 at 6:35 pm

If you spoon-feed me like that, I can never stop Sunita :) I have never had rice and dal kichdi. Kichdi in my books means rava or vermicelli. Yrs is bookmarked now!

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23 Jyothsna September 5, 2007 at 4:56 am

That is the beauty of comfort food…it’s simplicity! And loving memories associated with it.

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24 sunita September 5, 2007 at 8:43 am

suganya,I love it so much, that I want you too have a share as well…so go on, guide that spoon to your mouth:)

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25 sunita September 5, 2007 at 8:44 am

jyothsna,you’ve got the point there…glad you came by.

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26 lakshmi September 5, 2007 at 1:54 pm

what a beautiful simple dish – and i love the way you seem to be feeding all of us – virtually :)

ps: are you odiya?

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27 nandita September 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Khichdi is every Indian’s comfort food :) Just the aromas coming along with the hot vapours can sooth anyone’s soul…Im all for this yummy khichdi!

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28 sunita September 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm

lakshmi,I greatly enjoy the virtual feeding:D…btw, I’m Assamese…you’re not too far away:)

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29 sunita September 5, 2007 at 3:32 pm

nandita, I second you…the aromas are enough indeed…glad you came by.

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30 Mishmash ! September 5, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Hey I am not able to comment on ur latest post!!I am not getting the page!
just wanted to let u know that it was quite touching to read those lil notes you wrote on ur kids first day at school….:)

Shn

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31 sunita September 5, 2007 at 4:05 pm

shn, I’ve no idea why that is happening…I’ve posted it again…could you please check to see whether you can do it now:(

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32 Jaya Dixit September 7, 2007 at 12:49 am

Sunita, what beautiful pictures! This is also a dish that defines my sense of “home” and “comfort.” I remember when I started eating it with achaar…suddenly I felt like a grown up. Nevermind the fact that I shaped it in to a pizza and insisted on eating it “slice by slice.”

Great post!

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33 Kajal September 7, 2007 at 2:51 am

Your Khichdi looks delicious with vegetable my dear and also this is very comfortable and healthy too.:)

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34 Madhumathi March 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Hi Sunita,
Long back when i was exploring your blog,I came across this kichidi..
Y’day when i wanna make some comforting food ,ur kichidi flashed my mind.I made this and had it with tomato pickle….Its like heaven in a bowl..So comforting..Thanks for sharing :)

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