Beat quarantine blues with comfort food: Chef Amit Puri shares recipe for Dal Pakwan and Black Rice Khichdi

No matter what is our favourite cuisine, if there is anything that sails us through tough days, it is comfort food.

author_img Heena K Published :  14th April 2020 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  14th April 2020 12:00 AM

Chef Amit Puri shares recipe for Dal Pakwan and Black Rice Khichdi

No matter what is our favourite cuisine, if there is anything that sails us through tough days, it is comfort food. Often associated with memories of childhood or home-cooked meals, they not only uplift the mood but also help in combating the feeling of loneliness or rejection. 

Owing to the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, the last month has been quite challenging for many of us. While some are away from their family, some are struggling to manage work and domestic chores and many are just unable to get used to this lifestyle or are uncomfortable being homebound for such a long period. During such times, it is imperative that you keep yourself active, busy and have a wholesome diet.

“It is believed that certain food items have the ability to lift your mood and comfort food tops that list. It can not only psychologically trigger happy memories by creating a familiar experience from the past but can also help decrease stress levels and make you feel relaxed, giving you a sense of satisfaction,” informs Chef Amit Puri, author of the cookbook Redefining Comfort Food With Amit Puri, and shares with us his recipes for Dal Pakwan and Black Rice Khichdi. 

Dal Pakwan

Dal Pakwan


For Dal: 1 cup boiled split chickpeas (chana dal), Half cup desi ghee, 2 bay leaves, 10 cloves, 5 pods green cardamom, 5 pods black cardamom, 10-15 whole black peppers, 1 teaspoon whole cumin, 1 tablespoon chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon asafoetida, 2 tablespoons mango pickle, 2 green chillies, 1 tablespoon salt,
For Pakwan: 1 cup refined flour, Half cup semolina, 1 teaspoon carom seeds, 2 tablespoons refined oil, 1 teaspoon salt, Half teaspoon red chilli powder


  • For dal, heat ghee in a pan. Add whole garam masala and asafoetida followed by ginger and green chillies. Sauté them for a minute.

  • Now, add boiled dal, seasoning, powdered spices and pickle. Cook for 10 minutes or until the dal has thickened.

  • For pakwan, place all the ingredients in a bowl and gradually add water to it to make it into a dough. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

  • Divide the dough into small portions and roll it into small round shapes with a rolling pin.

  • Use a fork and prick the rolled dough randomly. This process is called ‘docking’ and it prevents the dough from rising like a puri when fried. Fry rolled dough in hot oil till it becomes crisp.

  • For assembling: Serve dal in a bowl and top it with chopped onion, mint chutney and tamarind chutney. Serve it with hot crisp pakwan and pickle on the side.

Black Rice Khichdi

Black Rice Khichdi

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons ghee, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 4-5 dry red chillies, 1 tablespoon ginger (chopped), 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped), 1 medium green chilli (chopped), 2 sprigs curry leaves, 1 teaspoon asafoetida, 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 medium carrot (chopped and boiled), 1 cup vegetables - cauliflower, green peas, carrots, broccoli (chopped), 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, 2 cups black rice, soaked for 2 hours, 1 ½ cups dal - moong and tur (soaked for 2 hours), Juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped)


  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter. Add red chillies and sauté. Now, add ginger, garlic and green chillies, and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add curry leaves and asafoetida. Afterwards, add and sauté onions until translucent, add mixed vegetable and dry masalas and cook them for a few minutes

  • Drain the water from the soaked rice and lentils.

  • Add lentils and rice to the pressure cooker, pour in a litre of water and cover with a lid.

  • Pressure cook on medium-low heat for 2 whistles. Switch off the flame and allow the pressure to release gradually on its own. Once the pressure has subsided on its own, open the lid and add lime juice and chopped coriander.

  • Serve along with papad and pickle.