khichdi

Khichdi Recipe

By Swasthi on June 23, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Khichdi Recipe made with rice, moong dal & spices is a simple, healthy and hearty Indian meal. This delicious dal khichdi is protein-packed, super comforting and flavorful that you are going to love it. Made under 30 minutes, it is an easy one pot dish and needs only pantry staples. Moong dal Khichdi can be made in a regular pot, electric rice cooker or any kind of pressure cooker, be it a stove top cooker or an instant pot. This post covers all the details.


khichdi recipe

Every nation has its own comfort food, loved by a larger population either for the health benefits or for the ease of making. Khichdi is the most popular comfort food for Indians. Mostly because it is vegetarian, filling, inexpensive & more importantly provides all the essential nutrients in one meal.

About Khichdi

Khichdi is a healthy Indian dish made with rice and moong lentils. Various other ingredients like ghee (clarified butter), cumin seeds, ginger and asafoetida are optionally used depending on the preferences.

This simple and humble dish is the first food for babies and people recovering from sickness. So most people refer it to be the food for babies and the sick as it tastes bland.

But a well-made khichdi apart from being wholesome, is very delicious & flavorsome. It can be consumed regularly by normal people as a part of healthy diet.

The name of the dish, ‘khichdi’ is derived from the Sanskrit term “khicca” meaning a dish of rice & legumes. It is known by various names like – khichri, kichuri or kichadi. Moong dal is the most common lentil used, which is the split and skinned version of green gram, aka mung beans.

According to Ayurveda, moong dal is Tridoshic in nature and can balance all the 3 doshas in the body – vata, pitta & kapha. Meaning this lentil is a superfood that can balance any kind of disturbances in the body by naturally detoxifying the whole system.

So khichdi is a staple in ayurvedic and yogic diet. It is highly recommended to people with sluggish digestive system as this helps to cleanse the entire system.

khichdi recipe made with moong dal, rice and spices

About this recipe

As such khichdi is not native to any regional cuisine and is made in so many different ways. The simplest way to make dal khichdi is to just cook rice & mung dal with salt to a mushy texture. Then top with ghee and serve hot. But that sounds rather too bland.

With this recipe, the basic dish gets a makeover. So it won’t be bland but instead flavorful and tasty. It is light & easily digestible dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family including toddlers. If you have toddlers or young kids at home, minus the chilli in the recipe and make a spicier side dish like pickle or chutney for the grownups.

The recipe shared here is a generic one that is suitable to everyone. Based on your preferences, you can easily plus or minus the recipe ingredients following my tips section below. I make it often for our lunch or dinner. We serve it with Lassi and pickle.

To make my recipe as is you will only need any kind of rice, moong dal, basic spices including fresh ginger and ghee or oil.

How to Make Khichdi (stepwise photos)

Preparation

1. We usually dry roast dal on a low to medium flame until lightly golden. Cool and store it in a jar. Whenever needed rinse the dal and use. This helps to make the khichdi more aromatic. This is an optional step which you can follow if you have enough time.

2. Rinse ½ cup rice and ½ cup moong dal in a pot either separately or together. Soak them until the onions and tomatoes are chopped. Here are the ingredients you need to prepare:

  • ¼ cup onions – finely chopped (1 small onion)
  • ½ cup tomatoes – finely chopped (1 medium tomato). We prefer deseeded or pureed
  • 1 green chili chopped or slit (optional)
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon grated ginger (1 inch peeled)
  • You can also add 1 ½ cups chopped veggies like carrot, potatoes, peas & beans. Set these aside.

Make Dal Khichdi

3. Heat a pressure cooker with 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons ghee. If you are a vegan, then substitute ghee with oil.

heating ghee for khichdi recipe

4. When the ghee melts, regulate the flame to low. Add ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) and 1 bay leaf (optional). Saute until aromatic for 30 to 40 seconds. Then add 1 pinch of hing.

cumin hing in ghee for khichdi

5. Next add ¾ to 1 teaspoon ginger and saute for a minute without burning.

sauteing ginger for khichdi recipe

6. Add 1 small chopped onion and 1 green chili (optional). Saute well until the onions become golden. Skip chili if making for kids.

frying onions chilies for khichdi

7. Then add 1 medium chopped tomato, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ½ teaspoon salt. You can also add ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional) for heat.

tomatoes salt to make khichdi

8. Saute until tomatoes turn mushy. If using vegetables add them here and saute for 2 to 3 mins. I did not have any veggies so I have not added.

frying tomatoes

9. Drain the daal completely and add it here. Saute for 3 to 4 mins to bring out the aroma of the dal. Skip frying if you are using roasted dal.

frying dal for khichdi

10. Then drain the water from the rice and add it here.

drained rice

11. Pour 4 cups water. For porridge like consistency, add 4 cups. I used 4 cups. If you want just a mushy texture then add 3 cups. Mix well and taste the water. It has to be slightly salty. If needed add more. Give a good stir so any food stuck at the bottom releases.

pouring water to make khichdi

Pressure cooking

12. Cover the pressure cooker. On a medium flame I pressure cooked for 4 whistles to get a soup consistency. To get grainy consistency, 2 whistles would be enough.

pressure cooking khichdi

13. Wait for the pressure to release naturally. Open the lid and stir well. Taste test and add more salt if needed. If you like more soupy consistency, boil half cup water in a separate pot and pour it here. Mix it well & simmer just until bubbling.

soft cooked khichdi

Transfer to a serving bowl and add a tsp of ghee. Serve khichdi with pickle, papad and lassi.

khichdi recipe

What to serve with khichdi

Khichdi is best served hot with a topping of ghee. Well most people eat it with papad, pickle and curd (Indian yogurt) on the side. If you ever order a khichdi platter in a restaurant these are the 4 things you get with khichdi – ghee, papad, pickle and curd. In some places they serve it with lassi.

But if you are eating khichdi following an ayurvedic diet, then do not serve it with yogurt as lentils and yogurt are an incompatible combination. This combination is best avoided by people recovering from sickness.

You may want to check these pickles to pair with your meal – mango pickle or instant carrot pickle.

khichdi

Cooking dal khichdi in a pot/ pan

To cook lentils in a pot or pan, rinse and soak the lentils in hot water for at least 30 to 40 minutes. This saves some time and energy as the soaked lentils cook faster. You can soak rice and lentils together. Later drain the water.

Follow the recipe as mentioned for the pressure cooker method until you add the rice and lentils to the pan. Soaked lentils won’t get roasted so skip that step and pour 4 ½ cups water.

Cook on a medium heat uncovered or partially covered so the froth won’t overflow. As the dal khichdi cooks, keep checking and add hot water as required. Avoid using cold water as the pot will cool down and take longer to cook.

When the lentils and rice is soft cooked, mash it slightly with a masher or a ladle so you get a thicker consistency like the pressure cooked khichdi. Usually lentils cooked in pot won’t have the same texture as the pressure cooked ones so this step will make your khichdi thicker & nice.

Instant pot khichdi

I make khichdi in instant pot for the whole family as mentioned below in the recipe card. Sometimes only one or 2 of us want to have it, then I make it following the pot in pot method. This way the large pot need not be cleaned.

For this method, I rinse the rice and dal in a small pot that fits into the IP. I do the tempering in a small pan and then transfer the ingredients to a pot. Add the vegetable like carrots, peas and beans directly to the pot. Pour water and pressure cook for 8 minutes.

I also place a bowl of water inside the pot so I use it to stir to bring the khichdi to consistency. You can find the detailed instructions for the first method in the recipe card below.

Ingredients

This section will help you choose the best kind of ingredients suitable to you in case you are making dal khichdi for health benefits. A basic ayurvedic khichdi is made with just rice, moong dal, cumin, turmeric, ginger, salt & pure cow’s ghee. Ingredients like pepper or any other spice & veggies are optionally used based on the body type.

Ghee also known as clarified butter, is one of the key ingredients in a khichdi. It is said that ghee helps in digestion and enhances ojas, meaning life energy. It is said to be healing and balances body and mind equally. So khichdi is always made with ghee. However if you are under a diet then simply use any vegetable oil of your choice.

Moong dal is the standard lentil used to make khichdi. These are split and skinned yellow lentils made from whole green mung beans. As I said earlier these are great for balancing any disturbances in the body. However you can also make this with any kind of lentils like split pigeon peas (toor dal), masoor dal (red lentils) or even with soaked whole mung beans.

Spices: Usually cumin is the only spice used in the basic khichdi. Depending on the body constitutions ingredients like fresh ginger, black pepper and turmeric are suggested. For this recipe I don’t suggest skipping the spices mentioned in the recipe unless you have a diet restriction.

Without these, khichdi will not be flavorful. You can also use bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves & cardamoms as all these flavour up the khichdi.

Hing is known as asafoetida in English. It is considered as a powerful spice used to clear up stagnation, bloating and toxins in the body. So it is used in khichdi as it aids digestion. If you are on a gluten-free diet, then look for gluten-free hing or skip it completely. Use only as mentioned. It is a stimulant so do not use a lot.

Rice is the most common grain used to make dal khichdi. But we also make it with other grains like millets, quinoa, oats, broken wheat and even with semolina. For healthy option, refined or polished rice is not used. So you can also use brown rice, hand pound rice or any other less processed kind of rice.

Vegetables: I usually make this with just a small onion, tomatoes & carrots as preparing other veggies takes some time. However you can also add your favorite veggies like peas, beans & potatoes. It is all about the flavor of veggies you like. Avoid adding veggies you don’t like. Also note that veggies will be mushy in the khichdi.

Spinach: You can also add spinach to dal khichdi. I do not prefer to overcook my greens so I saute fine chopped spinach separately in a pan until they wilt completely. Add them to the hot khichdi. Cook only for a few minutes until the leaves blend well.

Variations

Masala khichdi is more flavorful and spicy. Add ¾ teaspoon garam masala along with turmeric and ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder.

To make vegetable masala khichdi, add 1 ½ cups of mixed vegetables , ¾ teaspoon garam masala and whole spices like 1 bay leaf, 2 cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon & 2 cloves.

Palak Khichdi – use about 1 ½ to 2 cups of finely chopped baby spinach or Indian spinach. There are 2 ways to use. The first method is to add it to the pan before sautéing the dal and rice.

Second method: Recently I have been making it by sautéing the spinach separately and then adding it to the cooked khichdi. I only cook the khichdi for 2 mins after adding spinach.

Other khichdi recipes I make
Oats khichadi
Dalia khichadi
Sabudana khichadi
Millet khichadi
.

Pro tips

If you are making khichdi for a baby then skip using all the spices & salt. Optionally you can add veggies which you have already introduced & suggested by your pediatrician.

If you are making khichdi for a person recovering from illness, then skip spices & add a wide variety of veggies which are suggested by your doctor.

We usually dry roast moong dal until aromatic and store it in a jar. Use it whenever needed to make the dish. This adds a lot of aroma. However I have shown a cut short method below.

More Rice Recipes here
Ghee rice
Veg pulao
Tomato rice

Fried rice

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

khichdi recipe

Khichdi Recipe | Moong Dal Khichdi

Khichdi recipe made with rice, moong dal (lentils) and spices, is a super comforting one pot protein-rich Indian meal. It’s delicious, nourishing and wholesome. Instructions included for stovetop & instant pot.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings2 people
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf or 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon ginger grated or ginger paste (1 inch piece)
  • ¼ cup onion finely chopped (1 very small, optional)
  • 1 green chili slit or ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ cup tomatoes deseeded & fine chopped or pureed (1 medium)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ cup rice (any kind or quinoa, steel cut oats, millets)
  • ½ cup moong dal (skinless petite yellow lentils) (or any other dal)
  • 4 cups water (more to adjust, for porridge consistency)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) (optional)
  • ½ tablespoon ghee for topping

optional ingredients

  • 1 medium carrot cubed
  • 8 french beans cut to 1 inch length
  • 1 small potato cubed

Instructions

  • Add rice and moong dal to a pot. Rinse them at least thrice & drain water completely. If you do not have a cooker, then soak them for 30 to 40 mins. This will help them cook faster.
  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker or pot on a medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, add bay leaf (optional) and cumin seeds.
  • Soon the seeds begin to splutter, then add ginger & saute until fragrant, for about 30 to 60 seconds & sprinkle hing.
  • Add onions and green chilies. Saute them until the raw smell of onions goes away & they begin to turn golden.
  • Next add tomatoes, carrots, beans, salt and turmeric. Saute for 3 to 4 mins. 
  • Then add drained daal and rice. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Pour 4 cups water for porridge like consistency or 3 cups for mushy consistency.
  • Stir well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed.

How to Make Khichdi in pressure cooker

  • Cover the pressure cook and let it cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame for a mushy khichdi. Cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium flame for porridge consistency. 
  • Let the pressure release on its own, then open the lid and mix well. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, pour about ½ to ¾ cup hot boiling water and simmer for 1 to 2 mins until dal khichdi begins to bubble. Taste test and adjust salt.

Khichdi in regular pan or pot

  • If cooking in a pot, bring water to a boil on a high flame. Then reduce the flame to medium to low and continue to cook.
  • Leave the pot uncovered or partially covered so the froth won't overflow. Keep checking and add more hot boiling water (about ½ to ¾ cups) as needed until the lentils are fully soft cooked. 
  • When both are done, mash the khichdi slightly so you get a thicker consistency. Adjust salt as needed.
  • Transfer to serving plates and pour 1 tsp ghee on the hot khichdi. Serve with papad and pickle.

Instant Pot Khichdi

  • Press saute button (medium) on your Instant pot. Pour ghee to the steel insert.
  • As soon as the ghee melts, add bay leaf and cumin seeds.
  • When cumin begins to sizzle add onions & chopped chili. 
  • Saute until onions turn transparent. Next add in ginger, hing, tomatoes, all veggies & turmeric. 
  • Saute for 2 to 3 mins until tomatoes turn mushy. 
  • Add drained rice & lentils. Saute them for another 2 to 3 mins. 
  • Next add salt & pour water. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a spatula to remove bits of food stuck in there if any. Mix well & taste the water. 
  • Add more salt if needed. Secure the lid & move the steam release handle to sealing.
  • Press the pressure cook or manual button (high pressure). Set the timer to 8 mins. Or you can also press porridge button & set timer to 9 mins. 
  • Once it is done, the instant pot beeps, then press cancel and switch off. 
  • Wait for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes & release the rest manually.
  • When the float valve drops, open the lid & stir gently.
  • If you like soupy khichdi, add some hot boiling water to bring to consistency you like. Saute for 1 minute if you prefer.
  • Top dal khichdi with little ghee & serve with pickle or papad or chutney.

Notes

Variations
  • To make the khichdi more flavorful, add 1 inch cinnamon piece, 2 cloves and 2 cardamoms.
  • To make masala khichdi, Just add ¾ teaspoon garam masala along with turmeric.
  • For vegetable masala khichdi, add 1 ½ cups of mixed veggies like carrots, beans and potatoes. Also stir in ¾ teaspoon of garam masala.
  • To make palak or spinach khichdi – Use about 1 ½ to 2 cups of finely chopped spinach and saute for 2 mins. Then add rice and dal.
 
Ingredient notes
  • Moong dal is the most common lentil used, but you can also use toor dal (skinned split pigeon peas) or masoor dal (red lentils).
  • Any kind of rice can be used like brown rice, short grain, medium grain or long grain. Use more water accordingly. If using brown rice, soak them for atleast an hour.
  • For vegan version, replace ghee with oil. For a gluten-free khichdi, use gluten-free hing or skip it.
 
Adjusting consistency
Adjust the amount of water as needed depending on the kind of rice. The best way is to add hot boiling water at the end after pressure cooking. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
 
Notes to make khichdi without cooker
  • Soak rice and lentils for at least 30 to 40 mins. This cuts down the cooking time and gives a better texture to the khichdi.
  • You can also skip roasting lentils as the soaked ones don’t get roasted well.
  • Start with 4 ½ cups water and as the khichdi cooks keep checking. Pour more hot water to cook further.
  • Lastly once the lentils are cooked, mash slightly to get a similar thicker consistency as the pressure cooked khichdi.
 
Instant pot cook time for other grains
Quinoa – 6 mins, steel cut oats – 20 mins on porridge mode, millets 8 mins pressure cook.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Khichdi Recipe | Moong Dal Khichdi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 689mg30%
Potassium 580mg17%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 8.4mg10%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 4.4mg24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Moong Dal Khichdi Recipe first published in October 2015. Updated and Republished in June 2022.

Khichdi Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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5 stars
This khichdi is soul-soothing and delicious. My husband is an Indian so I cook often from your website. He loves anything I make. Thank you.

5 stars
Hey Swasthi! Your recipes helped my college roommate and I out when we first took our apartment in 2020. Lockdown was on and we couldn’t hire a cook, and every time we needed a reference, we’d always say “let’s see how swasthi does it!” . Now that I’m at home, I’ve told my family about you too! Kudos to simple, delicious recipes ! Thank you!

Tried this for lunch today with vegetables and it was super… thank you so much

5 stars
This is a delicious and healthy recipe that can be adjusted in spices to anyone’s taste. Thank you, Swasthi, for such detailed instructions. I am a beginner cook to Indian cuisine and I really appreciated the extra comments that you took time to make.

5 stars
absolutely delicious. First time making this. Made it as-is and it turned out perfectly. Thank you for the detailed instructions.

5 stars
Swasthi, again another lovely lovely recipe, and again, thank you so much. I made it for my wife in recovery, then twice again for us all as we love it. Even as non-indians – we get the comfort food effect – thank you so much.

I was curious about roasting the dal. I understood you preheat a pan to hot, turn off heat, add moong dal, and leave on pan until you feel the heat coming through the dal which should be less than 2 minutes (otherwise it will burn). Does that sound about right?

Also, i think you say if you roast, then don’t saute with the rice. Should I keep seperate and saute rice then add roasted dal – or am I overthinking it again.

Swasthi, your caring advice is always clear. Thank you. Sandy 🙂

5 stars
Excellent. Very detailed information.

5 stars
Can we use left over dal curry for this?

4 stars
Impressed by your recipe. Trying your khichdi. Fingers crossed!

5 stars
Absolutely lip smacking. Followed instructions to the letter, except added a few pepper corns in the tadka, replaced green chilli with 1/2 tsp mild red chilli pwd. Delicious, easy, can be a party dish, me thinks 🙂

Thank you for sharing this recipe as many others! Following this several times by now and it gives always great result. The simplest version of Khichdi – little ginger, cumin, tomato and ghee, that’s it! – and its soupy consistency, gives so very great result! Thank you again 😌🙏

5 stars
Thank you for the recipe Swasthi madam. I followed your recipe to prepare kichidi today

5 stars
always the best website for cooking whether it is new or old recipes, can i know any sides like idli and chutney , poori and sagu
is there any sides to eat with ?

5 stars
Thank you, Swasthiji!
I’ve been visiting your website for some time now and I must say that the way you share such detailed information for each recipe is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

5 stars
Still.my favourite recipe.I love all the details and exact portion sizes,great websites.love what you have created!
Thank you lots
Adriane

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
I’m German and a newbie to cooking Indian cuisine. My boyfriend is Indian and he was ill recently, so I wanted to cook something that reminds him of home and provides some comfort. This is when I stumbled across your recipe. I made the vegetable masala khitchdi for him. He loved it and he was very impressed that I surprised him with this dish. I will definitely try more of your recipes 🙂
Thanks so much!

Hi sister ,I am German too.
Thats exactly comfort food to eat to become better.I did too learn that cause of my Indian boyfriend.When I lived in India with him together,Swashti was my master and I learned all the recipes from.her.I nailed each one of the dishes.I am incredibly thankful for her .It earned me respect from my Indian mother in law as well.
Herzliche Grüße
Adriane

4 stars
Good Work.

Hi, how late my to cook in normal pot?

4 stars
Excellent.

Hi Swasthi ,

The above Dal Khichdi Receive is for how many serving ? I will try tomorrow

Thank you, Swathi! You are helping to convert this newbie into a proper Indian food cook!!! 🙂 Many thanks – these instructions are very helpful.