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Manipuri Khichdi and Ootti

Manipuri Khichdi and Ootti

Printable version here

The recipes in this post are the result of a lot of Internet searching! When Bhags of Crazy Curry announced North Eastern food as the theme for RCI, I was quite interested. For one thing, I have been fascinated by the sheer beauty of that part of the country that I’ve seen in books and on TV. The North Eastern states of India are home to some of the most beautiful orchids in the world.

After going through the many search results, most of which were sketchy and largely repetitions of each other, what I realised was that non vegetarian food forms the bulk of their cuisine. And I had never heard of many of the ingredients used in those recipes.

We refer to the different states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh by putting them together as one entity, but each state has its own particular separate identity.

My search for vegetarian recipes from these states led to my discovery of two blogs, Anthony's Kitchen and Monica Gi Chakum, with some Manipuri vegetarian recipes.

I chose to cook Manpuri Khichdi and Ootti from Anthony's blog. As he hadn’t given very exact measures for some ingredients, I have put down what I used. I didn’t have any pictures to refer to either. Otherwise I have stuck to his recipes.

Manipuri Khichdi.

(Original post here)


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    Manipuri Khichdi
    Basmati rice
    1 cup
    Tuvar dal
    ¼ cup
    Onion, finely chopped
    1 small
    Ginger garlic paste
    1 tsp
    Peanuts, skinned
    2 tbsps
    Cumin seeds
    1 tsp
    Each of bay leaves, cardamom cloves and red chillies
    3 pods
    Turmeric powder
    ¼ tsp
    to taste
    1 tbsp
    2 tbsps
    White peas
    1 ½ cups
    Onion, finely sliced
    1 big
    Ginger, finely chopped
    1 ½ “
    Cumin seeds
    1 tsp
    Red chillies
    Bay leaves
    Cooking soda
    1/2 tsp
    1 tbsp
    to taste


    1. Manipuri Khichdi
    2. Cook the rice and dal till done but firm.
    3. Heat the oil and ghee, add the peanuts and sauté till golden. Now add the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, red chillies and cumin. Stir a couple of times and add the onions, sautéing till golden and soft. Add the turmeric powder, stir, and then add the cooked rice and dal. Salt as required. Take off the heat and mix everything, gently till well coated with the onion and spice.Serve hot.
    4. Ootti
    5. Soak the peas in water for about 5-6 hours and cook till done but firm. Put the peas into a pan, add one cup water, salt and the cooking soda. Bring it to a boil. There will be a lot of froth from the soda! I have never cooked (baked, yes) with cooking soda and it seems to make the peas a bit mushy.
    6. In another pan, heat the oil and add the bay leave, cumin and chillies. Just sauté and add the ginger and onion. Saute till onions are brown. Pour this into the peas and mix well. Serve hot.

    We enjoyed the Manipuri Khichdi for lunch with Ootti, roasted pappads and some pickle. And in true south Indian style, finished the meal with yogurt (curds)!

    I also just discovered, when Arundati reminded me, that the deadline for RCI submissions was long over. That’s how up to date I am with all things “bloggy” these days!!

    Updated on 23rd June, 2008:

    Bhags at Crazy Curry has requested me to send this in for RCI: North East Indian Cuisine, as she hasn't posted the round up yet. So Bhags, here this comes your way.