Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Varai Khichadi

Varai is a small round shaped millet and creamish (almost white) in colour. It is also known as “fasting rice” as it is generally used during fasting days.
My mother used to prepare “usli” and “idli” out of varai. Ofcourse during my childhood days I really did not appreciate these varieties. But now, I am always on the look out for some traditional and long forgotten items or dishes.

Varai is widely available in Maharashtra. They call it “varai taandul” (taandul meaning rice in marathi). In Karnataka, we “Amchis (konkani speaking people) call it varai.  I think in northern India it is known as “samak.”  If anyone reading this, please correct me if I am wrong.

One of my Maharashtrian friends told me that they prepare khichadi out of varai similar to “sabudana khichadi”. I tried it out and it really turned out well so, I thought of sharing this recipe with you all.

By the way, I did some research on the net and found out that its botanical name is Panicum miliaceum.

Varai Khichadi 2


11/2 cups
Roasted Peanuts (crushed)
¼ cup
As per taste
Water (boiled)
3 cups
Seasoning Ingredients :

3 tbsps
Cumin seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves (kadipatta)
1 or 2 sprigs
Green chilies (chopped)
1 or 2
Garnishing  Ingredients:

Freshly grated coconut
2 tbsps
Coriander Leaves (chopped)
2 tbsps


  1. Clean, wash and soak varai in water for about half an hour. Then drain the water and set aside.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. When the oil is warm, add all the seasoning ingredients (cumin seeds, chopped green chilies and curry leaves).
  3. When the cumin gives out its aroma, lower the flame and add the drained varai. Sauté the mixture for a minute or two.
  4. Add boiled water and mix well. Add salt. Stir the whole mixture and cover the pan and allow it to cook on a low heat till the varai is cooked. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Finally add the roasted and crushed peanuts and mix well. Switch off the gas.
  6. Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and freshly grated coconut.
  7. Serve hot.
Varai - washed & drained

Varai - ingredients
Ingredients for Varai Khichadi

Serves : 4


  • It is eaten as snack or as a meal during the fasting days.
  • You can also make kheer out of varai.

For its botanical name and other info: