On the hunt for some comfort food to dig into after a long day at work? Something that can get ready quickly and doesn't need a lot of effort to make? Give this quick khichdi recipe a shot! It's the perfect combination of rice, lentils, and delicious flavor!
If you're wondering what khichdi is, it is actually an incredibly popular South Asian food prepared using lentils and rice, flavored with herbs and spices. What's best is the fact that it takes just minutes to prep and cook, and is a complete meal in itself. You can have it as is or team it up with some accompaniments or sides to make it a spread!
What's best is the fact that khichdi is actually great for weight loss too, so if you're trying to keep your calorie intake in check, this can be a great meal to enjoy while still staying on track.
Ready to go ahead and give it a shot? Here's everything you need to know about making it!
What You'll Need For the Khichdi Recipe
- Moong dal (split and husked mung lentils): ½ cup
- Rice: ½ cup
- Water: As required
For the Khichdi
- Ghee: 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
- Hing (asafoetida): A pinch
- Green chilies: 1-2
- Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
- Onions (chopped): ¼ cup
- Potatoes (chopped): ½ cup
- Peas: ¼ cup
- Carrots: ¼ cup
- Tomatoes (roughly chopped): ½ cup
- Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
- Red chili powder: 2 tsp
- Coriander powder: 2 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Salt: As per taste
- Water: 4 cups
- Coriander (chopped): For garnish
How to Make Khichdi in a Stovetop Pressure Cooker
To start with the khichdi, start by soaking the rice and lentils together for about half to an hour. Once done, drain the water and keep it aside.
For the khichdi, take a pressure cooker and add ghee. Next, add cumin seeds, Hing, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté.
And the chopped veggies next. Sauté for about a minute.
Next, add the spices and salt and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add the soaked rice and lentils. Mix.
Add water and give it a good mix.
Close the lid of the stovetop pressure cooker and cook the khichdi for 30-minutes or until the rice and the lentils look completely mashed.
Your khichdi is now ready to eat!
Can I Make Khichdi in a Saucepan?
If making on the stovetop in a saucepan rather than a pressure cooker, you will need to tend the porridge closetly as it cooks.
Follow the directions above up to the pressure cooking portion. Instead, leave in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Once the mixture is boiling, check regularly and stir to prevent sticking.
Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils and rice are cooked through and it is thickened to the desired consistency.
How to Make Khichdi in an Instant Pot
Turn the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add the ghee, cumin seeds, asafoetida, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes until the cumin seeds begin to pop.
Add in the onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots and saute for another 2 minutes.
To the pot, add the 4 cups water and deglaze the bottom removing any cooked-on bits of food.
Next, add the rice, lentils, peas, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set to seal. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Once the cooking cycle has ended, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes before opening and serving hot.
How Can I Make the Khichdi Healthier?
Khichdi is actually a pretty healthy meal in itself. It packs in the goodness of protein from the lentils and also has a lot of veggies which add in fiber and nutrients. Plus, it is super low in calorie content too, which makes it a great meal idea for those trying to keep their weight in check.
You can still go the extra mile to make the khichdi healthier by adding more veggies like broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and mushrooms into the mix. These veggies are not traditionally added into the Indian version of the khichdi, but since khichdi is super versatile, you can go ahead and experiment.
Since khichdi has a nice subtle flavor, it can be a great chance for you to sneak in some greens, especially if you're making it for your kids. Some chopped-up spinach or kale can be incredible when added to the khichdi.
You could also replace the rice in the recipe for another healthier grain like quinoa or even some rolled oats if you have those. The cooking time will obviously be different, but you get the idea! Multigrain Khichdi is also great if you're trying to get more protein and fiber.
Another genius idea to make your basic khichdi more flavorful and nutrient-rich is to add some stock. You can use vegetable broth if you're a vegetarian, or chicken or beef stock if you have that. This can be an excellent khichdi for those days when you're down with cold and need something nourishing and comforting to dig into.
Which Lentil Should I Use For My Khichdi?
Pink lentils, split pigeon peas and green gram dal are the most common lentils you'll find in any Indian-style khichdi recipe. You might come across some other variations using other kinds of lentils- some of which might take slightly longer to cook.
A great tip to remember when it comes to cooking practically any kind of lentil is to wash and soak it beforehand. This can help drastically cut down the cooking time for the lentil.
Even just an hour of soaking can make a big difference!
What is Dal Khichdi?
Dal khichdi is actually a fancier version of your regular khichdi. In general, it is slightly runnier as opposed to khichdi and has a spicy tempering of curry leaves, cumin seeds, and green chilli topped on it right before serving.
Yellow lentils are usually used to make dal khichdi, and it tastes best when served with some mango pickle.
What to Serve With Khichdi?
While khichdi is actually an excellent meal to have by itself, spending a few extra minutes to team it up with some sides and accompaniments can really take your comfort food experience up a notch. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Serve it with a bowl of fresh yogurt and some Indian pickle on the side.
- Team it up with a bowlful of Indian salad, also known as kachumber, or some onion rings.
- Feel like munching on something crispy to go with it? Try this baked crispy okra recipe!
- To make your khichdi taste tangy, you can squeeze some lemon juice on the top before serving and some roasted poppadum on the side.
- Khichdi is actually an excellent light meal to have when you're experiencing stomach upset. In India, it is consumed as is or is topped with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) to make it extra nourishing.
- During the hot summers, you can a bowlful of khichdi with a glass of refreshing mint buttermilk, also known as chaas or some Mango lassi.
Easy Indian Khichdi Recipe
- Stovetop pressure cooker or Instant Pot
- ½ cup Moong dal (split and husked mung lentils)
- ½ cup Rice
- 1 glass Water
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1-2 pcs Green chilies
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- ¼ cup Onions (chopped)
- ½ cup Potatoes (chopped)
- ¼ cup Peas
- ¼ cup Carrots
- ½ cup Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Red chili powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 4 cups Water
- 1 pinch Coriander (chopped)
How to Make Khichdi in a Stovetop Pressure Cooker
- To start with the khichdi, start by soaking the rice and lentils together for about half to an hour. Once done, drain the water and keep aside.
- For the khichdi, take a pressure cooker and add ghee. Next, add cumin seeds, hing, green chilies, and ginger garlic paste. Saute.
- And the chopped veggies next. Saute for about a minute.
- Next, add the spices and salt and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the soaked rice and lentils. Mix.
- Add water and give it a good mix.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the khichdi for 6-7 whistles or until the rice and the lentils look completely mashed.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with some cruncy fries or papadums.
How to Make Khichdi in a Saucepan
- Follow steps 1 to 6.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then check regularly stirring to prevent sticking. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until rice and lentils are softened and the mixture is the desired consistency.
How to Make Khichdi in the Instant Pot
- Soak the lentils and rice in water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add the ghee, cumin seeds, asafoetida, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes until the cumin seeds begin to pop.
- Add in the onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots and saute for another 2 minutes.
- To the pot, add the 4 cups water and deglaze the bottom removing any cooked-on bits of food.
- Next, add the rice, lentils, peas, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set to seal. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Once the cooking cycle has ended, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes before opening and serving hot.
- You can add any veggies of your choice to khichdi.
- The consistency of the khichdi can be adjusted as per your choice. If you like it to be flowy, you can add water and heat it up a bit before serving.
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