Friday, October 31, 2008

Difference between Khichri, Khichra and Haleem


In India, the term khichdi is used broadly to imply a ‘mish-mash’ or a mixture of sorts, similar to ‘hodge-podge’ in English. It is commonly considered India’s comfort food.

What is Khichdi:
Khichri is a combination of Rice and legumes cooked together. ‘Lots of Ghee’ is an important ingredient in traditional recipe. Vegetables, nuts and dried fruits can also be added in this. The consistency of the finished product may be very dry like a Biryani, or wet depending on your taste.

Why is it so Popular:
Khichdi makes for a complete one-pot meal. The rice provides the carbohydrates, the lentils provide the protein, and the vegetables add the vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A dollop of ghee provides the right amount of fat and calories, which are as important in a diet as any other food-group.

Khichdi is also the first solid that babies are given. Rice and Lentils are simmered, until mushy, seasoned with turmeric and salt and is fed to infants to introduce them to ‘adult’ food. Khichri is a popular dish in Pakistan. It is especially cooked for children and people with stomach problems as it is easily digestible compared to other Pakistani dishes, which usually have meat and are spicy.

Khichdi when well cooked with little oil is considered as a light and nutritious dish and is especially popular amongst many who follow Ayurvedic diet practices or Nature Cure.

Variations in Khichdi:
All over India, there are as many recipes for khichdi as there are households. It can be spicy or plain, made with a single lentil or combinations of 2-5 lentils.The most common type of khichdi is Rice and Moong Dal Khichdi.

The important point is you have to select beans that will cook at the same time as the Rice. Special khichdis are often made to celebrate special festival days.

Khichdi is commonly served with another Indian dish called Kadhi. Other common accompaniments are papads (Spicy Indian Crackers), ghee (clarified butter), achar (oil based pickle), and yogurt.

In Rajasthan, the state's farming communities prepares Khichra, as the night mainstay. They prepare khichra with millet grains and moth lentils. Ghee, spice and water are cooked together with millet and lentil. It is a more filling and more potent version of what elsewhere in India is called, khichri (though this uses rice as its base). It is eaten with ghee, and accompanied by either jaggery or kadhi (Khatta)

Khichdi is a very popular dish in Eastern, Northern and Western India. Rice and lentils are simmered until mushy, seasoned with turmeric and salt. It is a very plain bland dish, usually served to people, who are ill and given to babies because it is easily digestible. It is also a favorite campfire food owing to the convenience of being able to cook khichdi in a single simmering pot.

The dish is widely prepared in many Indian states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bengal, where it is called khichhuri. Vegetables such as cauliflower, potato, and green peas are commonly added.

In Bengali tradition, it is cooked as a rich gourmet delicacy. It is customary to cook khichhuri for lunch at Saraswati Puja and other popular pujas such as Durga Puja.
Another form of khichdi, popular mostly in western Maharashtra, is made with prawns.

Khichri is a popular dish in Pakistan. It is especially cooked for children and people with stomach problems as it is easily digestible compared to other Pakistani dishes, which usually have meat and are spicy.

In Cuba, they cook Rice and Black beans together.

Kedgeree is a modified form of khichdi, was originated amongst the British colonials in India, as a part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine. It was introduced to the United Kingdom as a popular English breakfast in Victorian times.
Kedgeree is made up of flaked fish, rice, eggs and butter. It is rarely eaten for breakfast now, but is still a popular dish.


Khichra is a variation of the dish Haleem, very popular amongst Indian Muslims throughout the world, especially during Ramadan.
Khichra is an extremely popular dish in Pakistan also and it is sold as snack food in bazaars all year around. It is also a special dish, which is prepared during Ramadan and Moharram months of Muslim Hijri calendar and is cooked all night throughout Pakistan.

What is Khichra:
Khichra is made of wheat, meat (usually beef or mutton, but sometimes chicken or minced meat), lentils and spices. This dish is cooked for seven to eight hours before it is ready to be served. The daylong slow cooking results in a dish which is a paste, in which the taste of the spices and meat blend with the wheat, but the meat remains in the form of chunks.


Literally, Haleem mean 'Patient and Merciful'. It is served for breakfast during the month of Moharram and Ramadan, considered ideal to break the fast.
Haleem was originated in Iran and Afghanistan region. It is a thick Persian high calorie dish, which was introduced to India during Akbar period.
Haleem, and a variation called Khichra is very popular in India

What is Haleem:
Haleem is made of Wheat, Meat, Lentils (Split Desi Chickpeas known as 'Chana Dal', skinned split Moong beans known as 'Dhuli Moong Dal', Split skinned Lentils known as 'Lal Masoor Dal'), spices and ghee with lemon juice and/or spicy masala to adjust flavor to the taste of the eater.
This dish is slow cooked for seven to eight hours, which results in a paste like consistency, with the taste of spices and meat blending with wheat.

It is garnished with caramelized onions, chopped fresh cilantro, mint, hot green chili peppers and Garam Masala.
It is served with Lime wedges, Radish, Fresh Ginger sticks and thin slices of onions.

In India, Haleem is made with Goat or Buffalo. In Pakistan, Haleem is made with Beef or Mutton.

The Traditional Recipe:
Whole wheat was crushed in hand operated stone flour mill (Chakki) to make cracked wheat called Dalia. The mutton was chopped coarse, similar to minced or ground meat. The chopped mutton was fried with spices, pre-soaked legumes; the mixture was brought to a boil by adding water. It was left, in a covered pan with a tight fitting lid, to simmer overnight on low heat. After about six to eight hours, the mixture turns into a thick aromatic flavorful soup, with a grainy textured blend of meat, wheat and legumes.

Variations of Haleem:
Haleem is also a traditional starter at Muslim weddings in Hyderabad, and at Muslim functions or parties. It is another delicacy that is relished, besides Biryani in Hyderabad.
Haleem prepared during the Ramadan month in Hyderabad, is very famous and is distributed all over the country. Haleem is sold as snack food in Bazaars all year aroun

In the homes of the Arabs living in the Barkas area of the twin cities of Hyderabad, although both mitthi (sweet) and khari (salted) haleem variants are served for breakfast, even today, but in the majority, the salted option is popularly seen.

In Bangladesh, Haleem has attained a significant level of popularity in the urban centers. It is now a very popular food item in capital Dhaka during Ramadan. The preparation of haleem is complicated. A derivative of haleem, dry fruits and vegetables are used, is also prepared during Ramadan.

In Anatolia, Iran, the Caucasus region and Northern Iraq, types of Haleem are Keshkek and Harisa (Harees).
Harees consists of wheat, meat (or chicken) and salt. The wheat is crushed to make it soft and palatable. It is perhaps the most famous Qatari dish.
Wheat is soaked overnight, and then the meat is washed with filtered water and simmered in a pot 3/4 full of water along with the wheat. The liquid remaining is strained, salt is added, and the entire mixture is beaten. When ready, the mixture is poured into a serving pot and the surface is covered with cinnamon and sugar. Harees is a rich meal and it is filli

Even though Harees was once a traditional dish made at Arab homes, nowadays one can find it on the menu in any Arabic restaurant in Middle East countries.

Harees found its way to Kerala, South India, when the Arabs came here for trade in the 7th century. Harees is a very popular dish among the Muslim population of Malabar Region. It is known by the name "Alsa".

In Hyderabad, India, Harees is known as Haleem.

Difference between Khichri, Khichra and Haleem:
Khichdi is the combination of rice and lentil cooked together. Sometimes vegetables are added to it.
Both Haleem and Khichra are made of wheat, meat, lentils and spices. However, the main difference between Haleem and Khichra is that Haleem is cooked until the meat blends with the lentils, so it becomes more like a thick soup, while Khichra is not blended and so you are able to see and taste the chunks of meat.

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