A dish that tickled the taste buds of Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta and emperor Akbar and continues to be a staple food in large parts of the country is to be crowned and marketed as India's international food.
The humble khichri will on November 4 be announced as a brand India cuisine, during the second day of the World Food Day mega event to be organised in Delhi. The event will showcase India’s food processing industry and a wide array of cuisine.
“Khichri has been selected as it is one of most commonly consumed food item in India, by the rich and poor alike, across the length and breadth of this country,” said an official close to the development. The main ingredients of this food item are rice, lentils and spices.
To spice up the mega event, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal mooted the idea of branding khichri as a “super food”. On the occasion, 800 kg of khichri would be made using various grains such as jowar and bajra, in an attempt to make an entry in the Guinness World Records. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu is to launch the mega khichri in a big kadhai (vessel). The khichri would be distributed to poor children through the Akshaya Patra Foundation.
According to Badal’s plan, the ministry will market khichri as India's international food. It will be put in specially designed packets and sent to all embassies and consulates so that the dish can be popularised as an authentic Indian delicacy consumed by a vast majority. The ministry also wants to rope in restaurant chains across the world to popularise Indian khichri.
Khichri is a popular dish across the country. Apart from India, the vegetarian dish is widely consumed in Pakistan and the Fiji Islands, among others.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor of Khana Khazana fame will showcase various khichri cuisines. Celebrities such as Aamir Khan are likely to attend the event, though their participation is yet to be confirmed.