As Hardik Pandya helps India score 168/8 vs England at World Cup 2022, we decode his comfort food moong dal khichdi


Hardik Pandya, who is extremely particular about his fitness and diet, revealed in an exclusive interview with The Indian Express that he travels with a personal chef who “will look after my meals”. “For me, it was important as a professional athlete to tick all boxes available in life and to make sure my body gives everything to this sport and never compromises on anything. It was important for me to tick boxes from fitness to travel to having the right chef and having the right sleep. I hired a chef who will make sure that till I play the sport, he will look after my meals,” Pandya said.

The all-rounder who is currently playing in The World Cup 2022 for the Indian men’s cricket team prefers to have moong dal khichdi, his personal chef Nangia shared. “He loves vegetarian food and the food which he has grown up on in Gujarat. So that is his comfort food. There is a khichdi I make which is made of simple moong dal and rice. It’s a semi-dry one and it’s tempered with some low spices and some ghee which he likes to have,” Nangia told this outlet.

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Made from a mix of rice and lentils, the comfort food is considered a steady powerhouse of carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins, and several other antioxidants. It makes for a wholesome meal, experts opine.

Simmered till mushy, seasoned with a dash of turmeric and salt, and topped with ghee, khichdi can make for an ideal meal. “The combination of cereal and pulse makes this dish a source of complete protein providing all the 10 essential amino acids,” registered dietitian Garima Goyal told indianexpress.com.

“Also for an athlete, cereals can be varied as per advantages – you can add ragi for calcium or brown rice for more fibre,” she added.

According to Goyal, moong plant-based diets reduce body fat and are helpful for athletic shape and performance.

– Very nutritious and digestible.
– Ideal source of carbohydrates, protein, Vitamin C, calcium
– Antioxidant-rich and very good for recovery from sickness, indigestion, and diarrhoea.
– Quick to prepare and wholesome
– Add different vegetables to enhance the nutritional content of khichdi
– Storehouse of fibre and gut-friendly
– Gluten-free
– Contains all essential amino acids
– Moong dal khichdi has a low glycaemic index such that it helps bring down insulin, blood glucose and fat levels in the body which helps lower blood sugar levels and keep diabetes under control.

Here’s a simple twist to your regular moong dal khichdi, courtesy of chef Ranveer Brar

Ingredients

1/2 cup – Bajra or black millet, soaked for 8 hours and drained
1/4 cup – yellow moong dal or split yellow gram, washed and drained
1/4 cup – Toor dal/split red gram, washed and drained
Salt to taste
1tbsp – Oil
1tsp – Cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2tsp – Asafoetida (hing)
1/4tsp – Turmeric powder (haldi)
1-2 – Green chilies, finely chopped

Method

*Put bajra, moong dal, toor dal, salt and two cups of water in a pressure cooker. Mix well and pressure cook up to four whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Keep aside.
*Heat ghee in a deep non-stick pan and add cumin seeds.
*Once the seeds crackle, add asafoetida, green chili, turmeric powder and sauté on medium flame for a few seconds.
*Add the cooked bajra-moong dal mixture to it and mix well. Cook on medium flame for two to three minutes, while stirring occasionally.
*Serve immediately.

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