Saturday, October 1, 2011

sama ki khichdi : Barnyard millet now i know...

The name was told by an anonymous reader on my sama ke chawal ki idli post . It was only then i got to know it's botanical name too, it is Echinochloa colona now that i know, thanks to my well informed readers.

 I have been overwhelmed seeing the hits on my blog since the last week or so. The vrat ka khana recipes are getting great numbers of hits and many readers are interested in knowing whether sama/samak and buckwheat are healthy options. Yes these are very healthy grains and our fasting days are an excuse to make ourselves educated about these super foods.
As i have mentioned earlier buckwheat is also a very nutritious grain and should be consumed frequently , not only during the navratri fasting.

A tomato based soup with buckwheat groats can be a great fasting food too, if sendha namak is used instead of table salt.

Fritters or savory pancakes made with buckwheat flour are great fasting options too , made healthy wth vegetables they are perfect healthy food..

Motivated by the flurry of hits to my vrat ka khana recipes, i made a sama ki khichdi today so that my readers can get all the variety to the fasting menu. That was all i needed when i used to fast few couple of years ago. Variety. Sama ka chawal, singhare ka atta and kuttu ka atta and whole kuttu or kuttu ka daliya used to be my staple those days. Saboodana is crime (read empty carbohydrates and that to the most refined type) during fasting and otherwise too , although saboodana khichdi is what most people prefer when cooking for fasting food.

Saboodana khichdi is very common and there are many recipes available on the internet for that. But we should be aware that sago pearls are refined carbs and should not be used abundantly.Saboodana is crime (read empty carbohydrates and that to the most refined type) during fasting and otherwise too , although saboodana khichdi is what most people prefer when cooking for fasting food.

These sama ke chawal is a whole grain full of complex carbs and fiber too and can be used for daily cooking . I have made dosas, idlies , kheer and khichdis with sama and all of them taste great.


sama ke chawal soaked overnight 1 cup (it gets doubled after soaking)
chopped tomatoes 1 cup
a few springs of curry patta
chopped green chillies and ginger as per taste
salt n pepper to taste (use sendha namak or lahori namak, called rock salt in English)
ghee 1-2 tbsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp


Heat the ghee in a pan ( i use my iron kadai) and throw in the cumin seeds, wait till they splutter.

Add the ginger, green chillies and curry patta let them fry for 30 seconds or so. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and fry till the tomatoes are mushy.

Add the soaked and drained sama ke chawal , 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan. Lower the flame and cook covered for about 5 minutes.

Check if you want it softer , add a tbsp or two of more water if required n cook again. Otherwise fluff up and serve immediately.

This khichdi , although i would like to call it a tahiri or tomato rice, keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and tastes great after reheating in the microwave with a sprinkling of water.

Sama or samak ka chawal or Echinochloa is the quinoa of India. Doesn't it look inviting?

This kind of khichdi or tahiri can be made using any vegetables and any flavors you like. Keeping some soaked grains in your fridge will help you to assemble it quickly.

I had promised a friend to post a singhade ke atte ki roti (water chestnut flour flatbread) , that i am planning to do tomorrow . I have told this recipe on phone , on facebook chats and even like a story telling too .... you must be aware i like talking about food ...and many of my friends have tried this recipe with great satisfaction. This singhare ke atte ki roti is a soft and hearty chapati made with water chestnut flour and can be a great option for gluten intolerant people, specially those who crave for chapatis.

Stay tuned in....Enjoy navratri fasting....Or an excuse to eat some healthy grains right now....


  1. I cook with millet flour but never made anything with millet grain. It takes time to adopt a different taste when a person has to avoid gluten. I love Quinoa even my family likes it even though they are not gluten free.

  2. You are right, this will keep well and it is a good 're-heat' dish!

  3. Very healthy and delicious recipe.. looks gr8 !!
    Indian Cuisine

  4. I donk think samak rice is avaiable here,,,will try this sometime,,thanks for the recipe,.

  5. Well, I am surprised by the way it is available in Delhi markets during Navratri , i have never seen this millet so easily available even in Banaras or other small towns. I am glad that Navratri is being an excuse to revive the lesser known but much nutritious millet....

  6. @ Balvinder...sometimes i think we are introduced to many more interesting option when we have some limitations. Gluten intolerance is one such limitation :)

  7. I think I found your blog last year while looking for a recipe with samak(I had kept the whole 7 day fast for the first time and needed food options), and found about the millets'name too (although I wonder why a millet which is a cereal too is allowed food during the fast while other cereals are to be avoided?) Anyway to cut long story short, I had the same thing yesterday at haldiram and was wondering how to keep the chawal 'khada'- I guess soaking is the trick.(I used to cook it in pressure cooker and it used to turn out mushy). Will try today.

  8. Thanks for sharing this beautiful dish.......sometimes we forget these uncommon grains that can be so healthy.......Thanks for reminding.

  9. healthy recipe.. looks greatttt..

  10. Yum ...I like this very much ...your's looks perfect

  11. Hi, I tried it yesterday, it still came out mushy. How can I keep it from becoming a mush?

  12. Hi much water you added? It has to be drained before being added to the pan and very little water to be added.Actually sama doesn't get mushy easily, if cooked in a a pan (not in a pressure cooker), i usually add more water to cook after checking it and if any water is extra it is simply not absorbed and stays in the bottom of the pan.

    Are you using the same grain? If yes , then just reduce the cooking time and add lesser water. Or else cook in the MW with little water and add the tadka and mix to serve.

  13. Yummy yum.. Such a great recipe.. My gran cooks this grain and we used to have i with a watery gravy made with dhal and greens[drumstick leaves]. I am glad to come across a different recipe for this grain.
    Happy to have visited your blog... and proud to follow u..:)

  14. Sangeeta, enjoyed this post. Well written and the khicdi does look inviting. A very healthy preparation. Fasting or not I'm going to try this soon..Let me look out for some barnyard millet when I go grocery shopping.

  15. Hi ,
    Sangeeta, is sama rice gluten free?

  16. Hi sangeeta,

    is sama rice gluten free?

  17. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe