A fragrant potpourri of rice, lentils, and spices, khichdi can be found in kitchens all over India in various avatars. It has a colourful history that spans eras.

According to historian Mohsina Mukadam, khichdi is “one of the most ancient foods in India, yet one that has hardly changed”.

The Mughals loved the dish and prepared several versions in the imperial kitchen, including ones with saffron, strong spices, and dry fruits.

Jahangir was so fond of a spicy khichdi adaptation that he named it “lazeezan” (which translates to “the delicious”)!

In Kashmir, khichdi is enjoyed with kadam ka achaar (kohlrabi pickle), while in Hyderabad it is served with sour and soupy khatta.

Karnataka’s bisi bele bhat is believed to have originated in the kitchen of the Wadiyar rulers of Mysore.

Bengal’s niramish khichuri — a no onion, no garlic recipe made of sona moong dal (yellow split gram), gobindobhog rice (aromatic sticky rice), and assorted veggies — is a festive favourite.

Parsi Bharuchi vaghareli khichdi (made using marinated and fried Bombay duck, a kind of fish) is a must-try.

Hungry? Go ahead and try a version of khichdi with your own twist to it.