Khichdi recipe – Dal khichdi is an easy one pot rice & moong lentil dish made under 30 mins. Khichdi also known as khichadi or khichuri is a comfort food that’s most commonly eaten all over India. Most people refer khichdi to be the food for babies and the sick as it is bland in taste. But a well-made khichdi is very delicious, protein packed, healthy and nourishing. It can be served with ghee, papad, and Pickle or achar to spice up your meal.
The name of the dish khichdi is derived from the Sanskrit term “khicca” meaning a dish of rice & legumes. The most common lentil used to make khichadi is moong dal or skinned & split green gram.
According to Ayurveda, moong dal is Tridoshic in nature and can balance all the 3 doshas – vata, pitta & kapha in the body. It is one of the lentils that can balance any kind of disturbances by naturally detoxing the body.
Mung dal is considered to be a light, nourishing, protein packed & easily digestible lentil. So khichdi is also given to babies as a first food, given to the sick during a recovery from illness & is also consumed regularly by normal people as a part of healthy diet.
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.
A basic ayurvedic khichdi is made with just rice, moong dal, cumin or jeera, turmeric, ginger, salt & pure cow’s ghee. Ingredients like pepper or any other spice & veggies are optionally used based on the body type.
Preparation – khichdi recipe
1. We usually dry roast dal on a low to medium flame until lightly golden. Cool and store it in a jar. When ever 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. Chop onion, tomato, green chili and grate ginger. You can also add more veggies like carrot, potatoes, peas & beans. Set these aside.
3. Heat a cooker or pot with 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee.
4. When the ghee melts, add ½ to ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) and bay leaf (optional). Saute on a low heat until aromatic. Then add 1 pinch of hing.
5. Next add ½ to ¾ teaspoon ginger and saute for a minute.
6. Add 1 small chopped onion and 1 green chili (optional). Saute well until the onions become golden. Skip chili of making for kids.
7. Then add 1 small chopped tomato, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ½ teaspoon salt. You can also add ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder.
8. Saute until tomatoes turn mushy. You can also use carrots and french beans and saute them for 2 to 3 mins.
How to make khichdi
9. Drain the daal completely and add it here. Fry for 3 to 4 mins. Skip frying if you are using roasted dal.
10. Then add the drained rice. You can also add rice and dal together and saute for another 2 mins.
11. Pour 3 to 4 cups water. For porridge like consistency, add 4 cups. Mix well and taste the water. It has to be slightly salty. If needed add more.
12. 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.
Regular pot: If cooking in a regular pot, cook on a low to medium heat until rice and dal are soft cooked. You will need to add more hot water as needed.
13. When the pressure releases naturally, stir well. Taste test and add more salt if you needed. If you like more soupy consistency, boil half cup water in a separate pot and pour it here. Mix it well.
Transfer to a serving bowl and add a tsp of ghee. Serve khichdi with pickle & papad.
Tips to make khichdi recipe
1.Most times I make khichdi with minimum spices i.e cumin or jeera alone. However you can also use bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves & cardamoms during winters or monsoon.
2. 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.
3.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.
4.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.
5.I have used hand pound rice as this is what we are currently eating. Sometimes I also make khichdi with whole grains like brown rice, dalia, steel cut oats or millets. You may like to check them here
6. 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.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon cumin or jeera
- 1 bay leaf or 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon ginger grated or ginger paste
- 1 small onion chopped (optional)
- 1 green chili slit or ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 small tomato deseeded & chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
- salt as needed
- ½ cup rice (or quinoa, steel cut oats, millets)
- ½ cup moong dal or skinless petite yellow lentils (or any other dal)
- 3 to 4 cups water (use 4 cups for porridge consistency)
- 1 pinch asafoetida or hing (optional)
- ½ tablespoons ghee for topping
- 1 medium carrot cubed
- 8 french beans cut to 1 inch length
- 1 small potato cubed
How to make the recipe
- Add rice and dal to a pot. Wash them at least thrice & drain water completely.
How to make khichdi
- Heat ghee in a pressure cooker or pot on a medium heat.
- Saute bay leaf & cumin on a low flame for 1 min.
- Then fry ginger until fragrant & sprinkle hing.
- Fry onions and green chilies until the raw smell of onions goes away.
- Add tomatoes, carrots, beans, salt and turmeric and saute for 3 to 4 mins.
- Then add drained daal and rice. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.
- Pour 3 cups water for mushy consistency and 4 cups for porridge like consistency.
- Stir well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed.
- Pressure cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame for a mushy khichdi.
- Cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a low to medium flame for porridge consistency.
- If cooking in a pot, cook until soft adding more water if needed.
- Pour 1 tsp ghee on the hot khichdi. Serve with papad and pickle.
Instant pot Khichdi
- Press saute button (medium) & pour ghee.
- When the ghee melts, add in bay leaf and cumin
- When it sizzles then add in onions & chili.
- Fry until transparent. Next add in ginger, hing, tomatoes, all veggies & turmeric.
- Saute for 2 to 3 mins until tomatoes turn mushy.
- Add & saute drained rice & lentils for another 2 to 3 mins.
- Next add in 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 water to bring to consistency you like.
- Top with some ghee & serve khichdi with plain yogurt, pickle or papad.
Video of Khichdi recipe or Dal khichdi
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Instant pot cook time for other grains – Quinoa – 6 mins, steel cut oats – 20 mins on porridge mode, millets 8 mins pressure cook.
- To make masala khichdi, Just add 3/4 tsp garam masala along with turmeric.
- For vegetable masala khichdi, add 1.5 cups of mixed veggies like carrots, beans and potatoes. Also stir in 3/4 tsp of garam masala.
- To make palak or spinach khichdi – Use about 1.5 to 2 cups of finely chopped spinach and saute for 2 mins. Then add rice and dal.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.