February 27, 2019

Ja Dai with Khasi Tomato Chutney - a Meghalayan Journey

At the outset, I must admit that I am a little weary of cooking North Eastern Cuisine, simply because most of it seems to be meat based. So apart from the following dishes from that region, I have barely cooked anything else. This month for Sshhh Secret Cooking Challenge I decided to venture into Meghalayan Cooking, mostly in part due to a friend from the Indian Army who was posted in the North East and how he regaled me with dishes that were still edible to the vegetarian palate. 

I was given ginger and garlic by my paired blogger Sujata Roy for this challenge, and it was a great canvass to search for dishes that used both these. But as I couldn't find any dish which uses these two ingredients mandatorily, I decided to make a combo meal - just for myself - Ja Dai with Khasi style  Roasted Tomato Chutney. The former was adapted from Harini's blog and the latter from Suma's

As I made just one portion for myself, the recipe will also feature the same. You may easily scale the recipe to make for your family. 

Other dishes from the North East featured on my blog are:

Vegetarian Thukpa (Arunachal Pradesh)

While I made this , I was reading Chef Saransh Golia's "India on my platter", and its so right that every 50-100 km , the geography of food changes across India. Similar dishes also rule some adjoining states, like the Thukpa is common across the North Eastern States and even in Tibet. 

Now, let's get to today's recipe.

Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 20 mins, Serves - 1


(A) Ja-Dai  - Meghalaya style Khichdi
Short grained rice - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2 tsp (mustard oil is preferred in Khasi cuisine)
Masoor Dal - 2 TBSP
Onion - 1/2 sliced
Ginger - 1/2 tsp (finely grated)
Turmeric - a largish pinch
Roasted Cumin powder -1/2 tsp (not in recipe, but I added)
Salt - to taste

(B) Khasi style Roasted tomato Chutney
Tomatoes - 2 ripe (mine were slightly under at the time of making this)
Onion - 1/2 medium (sliced thin)
Garlic - 2 large pods (or to taste)
Salt - to taste
Green chillies - 1 ~2 (adjust spice)
Finely minced coriander - 1/2 TBSP
Lemon juice - to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

Soak the dal and rice together for 10 mins and pressure cook with the turmeric. Let the pressure fall on its own.
Meanwhile for the chutney, roast the tomato, garlic and chillies one by one on a medium flame (over a grill) till they char a but at the edges. Cool and put them in a mortar pestle and smash it to a slightly chunky consistency.  Add sliced onions, salt, lemon juice and coriander - mix well and refrigerate till use. 
In a pan (for the Ja dai), add the oil, saute the ginger and onions well till it is fragrant and slightly roasted, add the cooked dal-rice mixture, salt and mix well (if there is extra water, let it evaporate till it reaches a khichdi like consistency). Add roasted cumin powder and adjust salt and spices.

Serve Ja-Dai with Khasi roasted Tomato Chutney as a combo. Enjoy the rustic meal ! 

Sending this dish to following events:


  1. Roasting really brings out such a flavor in food. Love that chutney and I can imagine it pairing well with the rice.

  2. It’s rather tough to cook from these Eastern states , most of the cuisine has meat . This chutney sounds delicious !

    1. yes vaishali ! that's why I went back to mega BM for some inspiration given the limitations ! :)

  3. I remember our hunt for the mega bm with NE states, they have such a rich cuisine there, this rice and chutney combo sounds yumm kalyani! Roasted tomatoes, such a flavor bomb!

    1. oh yes, Priya and I remember you being a PhD in sourcing rare white papers on various cuisines, Priya ! fun days surely those were :)

  4. Wow! Looks like a perfect pairing Kalyani. Thanks for trying out and a little extra for the mention :)

    1. welcome HArini ! I think I might be makign this often now that its a super filling and flavourful khichdi !

  5. I love the sound of the Ja Dai - sounds so simple yet hearty! The roasted tomato chutney sounds super flavourful too. I'm sure both of these together would make an awesome lunch or dinner!

    1. they surely were an awesome Combo, Priya :-) and very flavourful chutney indeed !

  6. Thanks for the mention, Kalyani. I would have tried this khichdi too if I had known about it while posting for Meghalaya state. :) The combo must have paired well. Among the north eastern lot I tried during that BM, Manipuri khichdi was to my liking.

  7. most welcome, Suma :-) the chutney was to be ground a bit more, like a thecha but I personally loved the garlic and chilli flavours there. sure to make it again !

  8. I'm glad you decided to join in this challenge Kalyani, as difficult as the challenge is we all are discovering new dishes and a bit more knowledge about the NE States. Pairing a tomato onion salad with khichdi reminded of my mum. She would always make the salad with khichdi.

    1. Oh yes ! The combo of the fresh salad (almost like a thecha) with the hot khichdi was quite pleasing Mayuri !

  9. I love kichidi made of masoor dal. Tomato chutney looks delicious too. Good one

  10. Total combo is mouth watering I too made tomato chutney urs look utterly delicious n must try combo


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