Diet Dal Khichdi & Kachumber Salad – DAL-icious!
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Dal khichdi is a classic Indian comfort food which also happens to be a great meal for anyone trying to lose weight.
The basis of any dal khichdi recipe is traditionally rice and lentils, with very little seasoning. It is given to sick people and children, as it is extremely healthy and easy to digest.
However, dal khichdi does not have to be bland, as our recipe proves! Adding a few spices to the mix turns it into a flavoursome meal. Topping it with a crunchy kachumber salad adds some texture and fresh veggie goodness!
The khichDI-ET! : Dal khichdi for weight loss
This simple khichdi recipe is perfectly designed to be incorporated into a healthy weight loss meal plan.
Eating khichdi for weight loss is a good idea because it is high in protein and fibre, and relatively low in calories.
The combination of rice and lentils is what makes up the fibrous bulk of this dal khichdi. One serving contains 15g fibre.
Fibre is important for weight loss because it makes you feel full. Food like rice and lentils have high fibre content and relatively few calories. This means that the calories you consume will fill you up for a long time, meaning you are less likely to eat more.
This dal khichdi uses white basmati rice, but if you want to up the fibre even more, try whole grain brown rice instead!
Protein helps with weight loss in similar ways – reducing appetite by reducing the amount of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’ and increasing the amount of the various satiety hormones.
Protein is also good because it contributes to muscle maintenance and energy levels, keeping you feeling strong and active, which is important at any time, but particularly when you are on a diet!
One serving of khichdi contains 15g protein!
Topping your khichdi with a simple kachumber salad made of cucumbers, tomatoes and some spices, adds even more fibre to the mix, for very few calories.
Check out our vegetarian weight loss meal plan to learn more about how to optimise your diet for weight loss as a vegetarian. It’s free for one week!
Dal-icious and healthy! Benefits of khichdi
Outside of weight loss, this lentil and rice khichdi with kachumber salad recipe has numerous health benefits.
One simple benefit is that this dish is low in overall fat, but the fat it does contain is super healthy monounsaturated fat from olive oil.
Furthermore, the combination of lentils and rice is amazing for vegetarians as it provides a ‘complete protein’, something which is hard to come by in veggie diets.
To explain: proteins are formed of the 20 different amino acids, 9 of which your body cannot produce by itself. For a food to be considered a ‘complete protein’, it must contain all 9 amino acids.
Meat and eggs are a source of complete protein by themselves, but beans alone are not. However, beans (or lentils/other legumes) and rice combined = all 9 amino acids! Protein perfection!
Check out some of the other ways to get complete protein in a veggie diet!
For the khichdi
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 3 clove garlic (crushed)
- 1.5 inch ginger (peeled and finely grated) (1.5 inch = 4cm)
- ½ green chili (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup basmati rice (⅓ cup = 75g)
- ¼ cup red lentils (¼ cup = 50g)
- 3.5 cup vegetable broth (3.5 cup = 700ml)
- 7 oz spinach (7oz = 200g)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the kachumber salad:
- 1 medium tomato (roughly chopped)
- ¼ cucumber (seeds removed and cut into small pieces)
- 1 small handful coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
- 1 small handful mint leaves (roughly chopped)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- To make the khichdi, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Once hot, add the onion and cook until soft and golden brown, 5-6 minutes.1 small onion
- Add the garlic, ginger, chili, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and cinnamon and cook until aromatic, 2 minutes.3 clove garlic, 1.5 inch ginger, ½ green chili, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Stir through the rice and lentils and coat in all the spices.⅓ cup basmati rice, ¼ cup red lentils
- Add the vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly.3.5 cup vegetable broth, Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until slightly thickened and the flavour has intensified. The rice and lentils should be completely soft and breaking down to create a creamy, porridge-like consistency.
- Stir through the spinach until wilted.7 oz spinach
- Add the lemon juice then taste and season with more salt and pepper if you like.½ lemon, juiced, Salt and pepper to taste
- Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the salad, season with salt and pepper and set aside.1 medium tomato, ¼ cucumber, 1 small handful coriander leaves, 1 small handful mint leaves, ½ lemon, juiced
- Divide the khichdi between 2 bowls and top with the salad.