Kichadi | South-Indian Breakfast

This kichadi recipe is my mother’s. It works well and is really simple. Just remember the water:rava ratio which is 2:1 and you’ll do well. The South-Indian Kichadi is basically a dressed up upmawith vegetables and a little masala. It is a wonderfully healthy and tasty breakfast option that is sure to please kids and adults alike.  I love kichadi with coconut chutney. It used to be one of my favourite breakfast orders in Bangalore. In Bangalore they call it “Kara Bhath” and one of the few things both kannadigas and Tamilians would agree on (No politics/no offence meant). We can never agree on sambar for example, although I personally enjoy the sweet note in Karnataka style sambar.

Kichadi, Rava Kichadi,south-indian breakfast

The kichadi turned out great – soft, fluffy and delicious. Thanks to my mother. I think I’ve told you guys what a great upma maker my mother is. It’s her specialty. We’ve had stretches when she’d make it every night for dinner for even a week in row – Bansi rava upmawith onion and green chillies, Arisi rava upma, Godhumai rava upma, kichadi, Vegetable bath and then Bansi rava upma with whole dry red chillies. “Yenna Upma va!!” – We’d rag her for making the same thing every day even though we enjoyed it. She’s got them all down perfectly and she can replicate the same taste every time she makes them. If somebody ever plans an Upma franchisee chain, she’s the one to catch.


Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 5

Bansi Rava/Sooji/Semolina – 2 cups
Mixed vegetables – 1 cup (carrots,beans,peas) cut into tiny pieces
Onion – 1 large chopped fine
Tomato – 1 chopped fine
Green chillies – 3 slit lengthwise
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Water – 4 cups
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin/Jeera – ½ tsp
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Cloves – 2
Curry leaves – from 1 stem
Oil – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – a handful chopped

1.      Dry roast rava on low heat till a nice aroma emanates – about 5 minutes. Remove on to a plate.
2.      In the same kadai, heat 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add the cinnamon and cloves. Then add mustard seeds and when they splutter add cumin and curry leaves. Throw in the chopped onions and fry till they turn translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the green chillies and tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes turn soft.
3.      Add the chopped vegetables and give it a good mix. Sprinkle a little water, cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes or till the vegetables are tender.
4.      Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Pour in 4 cups of water and let come to a boil. Taste the water and adjust seasoning. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the rava slowly in a thin stream, while constantly stirring with the other hand. The water will quickly be absorbed by the rava. Reduce heat to low, mix thoroughly with your karandi/spatula from the bottom of the kadai. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, drizzle the ghee all over and fluff up the kichadi by mixing well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chutney of your choice.
1.      Dry roasting rava is an important step before making any upma or kichadi. Don’t skip it. The resulting upma/kichadi is fluffier and is less likely to be mushy.
2.      You can add roasted/fried cashew as garnish too, especially if you’re serving for guests or a special occasion.
3.      Make sure the water is at a rolling boil when you add the rava. If you feel the kichadi is undercooked, add boiling water about a ¼ cup at a time, mix well, cover and cook on low till it is cooked.
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