Tag Archives: Rice

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.


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


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)


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.


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.


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.


Lunch Box Nostalgia

Rice is a staple diet in Southern India. Most days it is eaten 3-4 times a day. It is fairly common that there are left overs the next day. It is even more common that the left over rice is given a quick make-over into lemon rice, yogurt rice  or one of the many different combinations available where rice is mixed with other ingredients and made into a delicious dish often called “tiffin” or a light meal.


Growing up, I remember many a time my mother packing school lunches (usually with fresh cooked rice or left overs). One of the most common ones she made besides lemon (or tamarind) rice was coconut rice.

1 cup sona masuri or basmati rice
1-2 shallots
1 medium potato
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup shredded fresh or dry coconut

1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chilis
1/4 cup cashews or peanuts
1-2 tbsp oil
touch of turmeric
touch of asafoetida
salt to taste
a few curry leaves


In Southern India sona masuri rice is typically used but you can use basmati rice. Cook the rice in  2 cups of water in a rice cooker and set aside.


Heat oil in a pan and add all seasoning ingredients except salt and curry leaves. Fry until lightly brown. Add curry leaves, sliced jalapeno and fry for one minute. Add sliced onion and potato (peeled and cut into small pieces). Fry until the onion and potato turn slightly brown and are crispy. Mix in the rice, and coconut. Add salt to taste.


This is one of those convenient lunch box meals for a day at the office.

Chimichurri Brown Rice

I. Just. Absolutely. Love. Trader Joes Chimichurri Rice. I always have a bag of the frozen Chimichurri rice handy in my freezer  for days when I crave rice and don’t want to cook.

If you have never tried it. Stop now and rush to your nearest Trader Joes.

But wait maybe you want to try this recipe. I have made it many times in the past but this is the closest I have come to the taste of the Trader Joes one. This time rather than make the chimichurri sauce from scratch I used dry chimichurri mix I found in World Market.

1 cup brown basmati rice (or white)
1/2 cup peas
1 chopped carrot
1 small onion chopped
3-4 garlic cloves minced
2 tomatoes chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp cream (can use sour cream)
some chopped cilantro (optional)
Some chopped parsley (optional)
some red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tsp chimichurri mix
2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes to an hour. Precook 1 cup of rice with 2 cups water. If using white rice you should be okay cooking it later with the vegetables. Brown rice is harder to cook and takes longer so I decided to pre-cook it.

Add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter  to a pan on medium low heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped carrots and peas and continue flying for 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and continue frying for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk 1-2 tsp of chimichurri mix with oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Add to the vegetables, salt to taste and some red pepper flakes and continue cooking. Add cream and chopped cilantro and parsley and continue cooking until most of the moisture evaporates. Add rice and mix well. Let simmer for a few more minutes on low heat so the flavors infuse well.

Garnish with a little chopped cilantro and parsley and serve hot.