Khichdi generally refers to a mishmash. In food it refers to a soft mixed mashed stew of rice and lentils with or without tempering.

In North India khichdi is a plain grainy concoction of rice and moong/masur/tuvar dal cooked soft with salt and seasoned with curry leaves and jeera. The Southern counterpart is the 'pongal' which is again rice and moong cooked soft but seasoned with roasted black pepper and jeera powder. Both the versions in their rustic forms are bland and considered ideal food when one has an attack of dysentery! Pongal or khichdi is also one of the early foods introduced to babies. It is good for the sick or aged as it does not contain fat (unless you would like to add more), and very light on the stomach. Though khichdi is simple and devoid of any glamour associated with an Indian kitchen in terms of fat or flavor you will find it gracing the menu of every Indian restaurant, but what you will get is a royal stew generously tempered with chillies, ghee (clarified butter), and heavily spiced!

Vegan Lentils,Rice Stew

Recipe: Khichdi (Lentil and rice stew)
Prep & Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Serves: 2-3 People
Cooking Level: Beginner/Easy
Recipe/Post by: Sunshinemom
1/2 cup Raw rice (Any variety - I generally use Kolam rice)
1/4 cup Moong dal (Split dehusked green gram)
1/4 tsp Haldi (Turmeric powder)

1 tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds)
1 Tejpatta (Bay leaves)
1 tsp Adrak (Ginger) - Julienne
2 Lavang (Cloves)
1" long thin stick - 2 Dalchini (Cinnamon)
1 (optional) Lal mirch (Dry red chillies)
1 Hari mirchi (Green chillies) - slitted
1 sprigKadipatta (Curry leaves)
1tsp Ghee/Oil

Special Utensils:
A pressure cooker (May be cooked without one too)
A tempering ladle (Seasoning wok)

Align CenterSpices
Ingredients used in Khichdi


Cooking the Khichdi
  1. Wash rice and dal separately.
  2. Place in a cooker together with four times water, half the salt, bay leaves and turmeric powder for three whistles or till soft.
  3. Allow the pressure to drop naturally.
  4. The rice and lentils will be a little stewish in consistency which is just right. Mix them gently without mashing into a thick mass.
Seasoning with Spices
  1. Heat a seasoning wok with ghee/oil and when hot, add cumin seeds.
  2. Let the Cumin starts crackling, add the rest of the whole spices followed by the slit green chilli. When it changes colour pour over the stew/khichdi. Adjust salt
Serving Suggestions:
  1. This can be served with curd, papad (rice or lentil fritters), ghee (clarified butter) or pickle.
There is a saying that goes "khichdi ke chaar yaar - dahi, papad, ghee, achaar." You have to decide what best fits your taste buds! In Bihar it is considered a delicacy served with 'baingan ka bharta' (smoked eggplants).

  • You can substitute moong dal (split green gram) with masoor dal (red lentils) or tuvar dal (pigeon peas), but moong dal is preferred as it considered light.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • Fry some sliced onions, garlic cloves, a star anise, or cashews while seasoning to give it a more royal touch and you can serve it as main dish at a gathering too.
  • Using mustard oil imparts a tasty flavor but it is optional. If using mustard oil, heat the oil to smoky and cool once to get rid of its strong smell. Then reheat and use normally for tempering.
  • Consistency should be like that of a rissotto - grainy, stewish but the rice and dal should not remain separate.

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  1. rekhas kitchen // 7 May 2009 at 15:45  

    looks so delicious nice and comfort food beautiful pic.

  2. Parita // 7 May 2009 at 16:49  

    i love khichdi and this looks so delicious..made me hungry :)

  3. Ramya Vijaykumar // 7 May 2009 at 18:04  

    Such a delicious and a staple food of India, Looks like those given at temple as prasad...

  4. Kalyani // 7 May 2009 at 19:28  

    So tempting picture... and it looks delicious .....

  5. Kitchen Flavours // 7 May 2009 at 19:42  

    Very comfort food....Love to dig in right now.....

  6. Alka // 7 May 2009 at 22:20  

    Truly comfort food, and yeah it has 4 yaar,but i prefer just two with this...Curd and papad, absolutely yummmmmmm

  7. Vanamala // 7 May 2009 at 23:31  

    Nice one...looks easy

  8. Vani // 8 May 2009 at 00:27  

    Looks great, H! And very nicely written post too :)

  9. anudivya // 8 May 2009 at 05:14  

    That looks divine! Simple no-fuss food, and I love it.

  10. Prathibha // 8 May 2009 at 09:18  

    Looking lovely.all time comfort food..

  11. jayasree // 8 May 2009 at 10:16  

    Very well written post. Tempting pics.

  12. Vcuisine // 8 May 2009 at 13:19  

    The consistency is noteworthy Harini. Nice presentation. Viji

  13. Suparna // 8 May 2009 at 21:37  

    love khichdi coz it's an all time comfort food :) well presented recipe.

  14. Ma Udaysree // 8 May 2009 at 22:38  

    thanks for explaining in depth. it gave some new insights...

  15. Ma Udaysree // 8 May 2009 at 22:39  

    thanks for the in depth description. it gave me some new insights...

  16. Ma Udaysree // 8 May 2009 at 22:40  

    thanks for the in depth description. it gave me some new insights...

  17. Bharati // 9 May 2009 at 09:59  

    Satvik and simple recipe.Khichdi looks delicious.

    Doubt - Do we need to use bay leaf while cooking rice/Dal and also as tempering spice ?

  18. Jamie // 9 May 2009 at 21:09  

    Great post. I know my husband loves Khichdi. And by the way, I really love the theory and meaning behind this blog. I love stopping by to see what I can learn!

  19. Srilalitha // 11 May 2009 at 19:34  

    hi is quite easy recipe. i love tempting picturs.all of u are doing such a good work.