Air-fried khichDi cutlets

I must start by saying this – we are khichDi lovers here. While I can do with an extremely simple moong dal khichDi sans any vegetables, K loves it when it has some potatoes, chole and garlic. But one thing we always agree on is hot, slightly soupy khichDi that we can devour by bowlfuls regardless of what meal it is.

But here is the thing – when you cook in a famished state, even your poor sense of proportion takes a further hitting which is how I ended up making an entire pot full of khichDi that lasted two servings each for dinner, a serving for breakfast and another generous bowl smirked at us as if daring us to finish it. Now, we are not ones to give up or throw away perfectly normal food (and definitely never khichDi), so this is something I am so proud to have made – a perfectly healthy air-fried khichDi cutlet if you can call it that! I cannot urge you more except to share how I made it and sincerely hope you make some extra khichDi or give this a go when you make something with the consistency of a khichDi like pongal and have leftovers. They sort of remind me of one of my favourite Italian snacks – arancini.
Please treat this more as a method/ idea than a recipe to follow to the T.

Here is what you need:

Leftover khichDi – I suggest you keep it in the fridge to let it thicken (if it was soupy to start with and you probably would if they are leftovers anyway)
Finely chopped onions (optional)
Finely chopped green chillies (optional and to taste)
Rice flour – About 1.5 tablespoon (just to make sure your khichDi can come together like a ball and also crisp nicely).
Panko bread crumbs – 1 spoon to mix in the khichDi (again for crispiness) and enough to coat the khichDi balls with it. You could perhaps replace with java/semolina/ suji but I have not tried this.
Cheese of choice, I used cheddar – cut into small thin strips to place in the centre of the khichDi ball

Method:

  1. Take the khichDi out from the fridge and ideally you want it to be slightly clumpy but if not, we can always add more rice flour in the next step.

2. Now add finely chopped onions, green chillies, rice flour and panko bread crumbs.

3. Mix it all together and make a ball with it. Add more rice flour if needed so it comes together. It will be a bit sticky and that it totally fine.

4. Make a small dent in the ball and stuff it with a cheese bit and close it.

5. Roll this in some bread crumbs to coat it.

6. Roll them all into balls like above.

7. Now place them in the air fryer. Brush it with a little oil (but this is not necessary as the balls crisp regardless from how I have tested them). I used Ninja food that has an air crisp function. But any air fryer will do. Set the temperature to 200C and crisp it in 10 minute increments. Check every 10 mins, turning it over. Mine took 25 minutes. If you have made smaller balls they need lesser time, this is something you will know based on your air fryer.

8. That’s all! Serve these gooey centred khichDi cutlets with piping hot chai. We had ours with the absolutely delicious masala chai that K makes.

I have a little video on instagram walking you through the process with the reveal of the crunch and everything!

Other ideas/notes:
1. You can make this with pongal or similar pressure-cooked mixed rice recipes that hold together.
2. Add more veggies, nuts, shredded cheese or stuff with paneer – just anything you like!
3. Coat it with sesame seeds for that flavour or roll it with rava/semolina/ suji for that crispiness instead of bread crumbs.