Kichdi (Rice with lentils)


Khichdi is a popular one pot meal that is chiefly composed of rice and lentils. Typically the lentils of choice are moong dal (green gram) or brown lentils. You can make it with either brown or white rice. Cooking with brown rice takes longer and most times I double cook it in a pressure cooker. Also it is not as fluffy as when cooked with white basmati. Kichdi is convenient and fairly easy to cook. Perfect for that office lunch box or a week night dinner. It goes well with some raita (yogurt dish) or plain yogurt on the side.

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Kichdi made with whole moong dal and white basmati rice is shown above.

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Kichdi with brown rice and whole moong dal is shown above.

For the Kichidi:
1 cup rice (brown or white)
1/2 cup whole moong dal (green gram)
1/2 onion chopped
1-2 bay leaves
1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
2 garlic cloves (optional)
a small piece of ginger (optional)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala
1-2 tbsp shredded coconut
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
some cilantro chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee (optional)

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For the Raita
1 cup yogurt
1/4 red onion chopped (optional)
1/4 cucumber shredded or finely cut
1 roma tomato chopped fine
some cilantro chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper

To make the raita mix all the ingredients and set aside.

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To make the kichdi, if using whole moong dal, soak overnight or atleast for 8 hours. If using de-husked, split moong dal not preparation is needed.

I usually like to make the kichdi in a pressure pan or pressure cooker. My 7liter pressure cooker comes with a pressure pan that is very convenient to cook. Especially when I need to saute my vegetables in oil first before steaming them.

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My really old pressure pan shown above, that is perfect for steaming and making one pot meals such as kichdi, vangi bath, pulao etc.

Rinse rice and drain all the water and set aside. To make the kichdi, heat some oil in a pan. Add turmeric and cumin seeds and fry lightly. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno and fry till the onions are lightly brown. Add moong dal and rice and fry lightly. Add salt and all other spices and coconut. Always adjust spices for personal preference. Mix well. Add 2 cups water and a tsp of ghee (optional). Close the pressure pan lid and cook until two whistles. If using an electric rice cooker, transfer the ingredients to the rice cooker after light frying and add water and cook. If cooking in the open, add water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and cook until all water evaporates and the rice is fluffy. Adding more water as needed.

Garnish with some cilantro and eat warm with plain yogurt or raita.

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