khichdi & kadhi, gujarati peasant food

gujarati comfort food, khichdi & kadhi | conifères & feuillus

Every peasant cuisine has incredible ingenious tricks for getting a lot of nutrition out of a small amount of ingredients.  –Michael Pollan

A simple dish consisting of rice and lentils, khichdi is deeply rooted in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, a peasant food of rural India, it has since been reincarnated into elaborate dishes fit for royalty. Present day, amongst Indians, it holds the title as both the ultimate comfort food and a perfect plant-based source of protein. Throughout India, it is one of the first foods given to babies and long before the word “detox” became a thing here in the West, it has been Ayurveda’s answer to detoxification.

Each region of India has its own version of khichdi. In my birth province of Gujarat, it remains much like the original peasant dish and consists of no more than rice, split mung dal,  a pinch of turmeric and a dallop of ghee and is always served with kadhi, a spiced, soup-like yogurt curry.gujarati peasant food, khichdi & kadhi | conifères & feuillus
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gujarati toor dal (split pigeon pea soup)

Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) Soup | conifères & feuillus

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. -Louise Fresco

My last post featured a Westernized version of the classic Gujarati toor dal soup. Today, I’m posting my family recipe for the traditional version. Toor dal (or split pigeon pea) has been cultivated in India for at least 3500 years and is a staple in Indian cuisine. However, in a Gujarati home, toor dal (which refers to both the uncooked legume as well as the soup) is a daily affair and is eaten during every meal. Although classified as a soup here in the West, it’s not eaten as you would a soup: it’s ladled over rice and eaten alongside rotis and a curry, at the very least. (Google ‘Gujarati thali’ to see what a typical Gujarati meal looks like).

Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) Soup | conifères & feuillus

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chickpea biryani done an easier way

How to make the perfect chickpea biryani each time.

The humble chickpea never fails to amaze. On their own, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein. When combined with a grain such as rice, they become a source of a complete protein and can replace proteins acquired from eating meat (only without the fat). But when you make a biryani with them, they bring you to a whole new level.

Chickpea biryani is healthy, packed with flavour and makes for a great meatless meal.how-to-make-chickpea-biryani
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treasures from our homeland & gujarati dhokla

gujarati dhokla | conifères et feuillus food blog

Great food knows no borders.

I was three years old when, on an otherwise ordinary November day, we made our journey from our tiny ancestral village in Gujarat, India to Canada. Although, we wore our best clothing, I am sure, by Western standards, we did not purport to anyone of great status, nor were we. But unknown to even ourselves, we carried great treasures with us that day.gujarati dhokla | conifères & feuillus
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