Rice, lentils and recovery

Mallika Basu - Rice, lentils and recovery

Posted 18th November 2006

khichdi.jpgFriday was a write off.

I went to two Bond parties on Thursday night and got so drunk that I could barely lift my head on Friday. But did the world care? No. Instead it served up an achingly long work day that ended with a painfully difficult client meeting. Wonderful, really…

So at the end of it all, I decided to cook fellow sufferer the partying hubby a warming Indian rice and lentil dish called khichdi (pronounced: khich-ri).

Khichri is traditionally served on cold, rainy days or when you are unwell. It is highly nutritious – packed full of proteins and carbohydrates and the goodness of the vegetables you chose to add to it. It is also very low in masalas, when compared to a standard curry or pulao, so very easy on the taste buds and the tummy. Perfect for a hangover!

There are lots of different ways of cooking khichdi. The basic premise is that rice and lentils are cooked together. The masalas and vegetables added vary from family to family, depending on what they prefer. The accompaniments also vary, Parsis have it with a prawn dish, Bengalis have a selection of fried vegetables, while some just prefer it with a dollop of yoghurt and some pickle.

Here is my uber simple recipe to cheer two up on a miserable day:

Half cup rice
Quarter cup red lentils (masoor)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1″ cinammon
4 cloves
4 cardamoms
1 tsp whole cumin
1 bay leaf
Half tsp turmeric powder
3 cups of water
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Wash the rice and lentils well and mix together. Heat the oil and when hot fry the cinammon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf. When the leaf starts going brown, add the whole cumin and let it sizzle up.

Then add the onion and fry well until it starts going brown. Chuck in the turmeric and give the masalas a good stir.
Add the rice and lentils, and fry for a minutes stirring the masala into the mixture evenly. Add some salt at this stage.

Lower the flame to a medium heat, add the water, cover and cook. During this time, you can add raw carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, peas etc to make the dish even more healthy.

When the lentils lose their shape and the rice is cooked, your khichdi is ready. It should have a runny consistency.

27 responses to “Rice, lentils and recovery”

  1. Amy says:

    I love your site and have been reading you ever since Sam mentioned you over at Becks and Posh. I’ve tried my hand at a few indian dishes in the past, but I love your simplified approach.

    I recently bought a bag of red lentils, and was having trouble deciding what to do with them. This looks like a perfect thing dish to try them out with. Thanks!

  2. Theresa says:

    My roommates and I love Indian food, but our knowledge of it is pretty much curry, so I searched online for quick Indian recipes and found your blog. It’s fantastic!

    I tried this one night, but I didn’t have any turmeric and it still tasted great! It’s been pretty cold out lately and a dish of this again sounds so much better than tinned soup.

  3. […] The model is question was prawn patia – a popular hot and sour Parsi prawn curry. My new colleague at work mentioned how much she loved this dish and I thought I would post the recipe for her. I served it with some khichdi – a simple lentil and rice dish. […]

  4. […] how much she loved this dish and I thought I would post the recipe for her. I served it with some khichdi – a simple lentil and rice […]

  5. Harshika says:

    Hi Mallika,

    I recently came upon ur blog while searching for kichdi recipe…Im indian and yes our name ryhmes and that pleased me no end!! No particular reason though. As a fellow expat wife I love surfing the net for nice indian recipes. im sure u will agree ,just being Indian does’nt make us good cooks automatically! Post marriage ive discovered that Indian cusine is humungous and there’s so much to try. Im from varanasi-UP and married to a mallu who was born and brought up in Chennai (to complicate matters) , so I have to juggle between dal-chawal and sambhar-chawal often….we now live in Dubai after having moved from London after a 3 yr deputation there and recently married (last yr) I absolutely love cooking and though im a home maker (now) cooking Ive realised has become a bit of a pain,since i gotta do it everyday …so a blog like urs serves to make life simpler and easy. Just becos i stay home doesnt mean i will slave over the stove and go bonkers….one thing tho, after london, dubai makes for a fantatsic change as far as procuring ingredients are concerned. Heck! the stuff here is better than india itself!! he he! We get everything, literally EVERYTHING, sometimes I dont even know myself ,whats on the shelf….thats indian cuisine for you! I make fairly complicated meals, sometimes 2 kinds to suit mine and hubby’s palate and suddenly realised khichdi – comfort food at its best and will suit us both when i dont wanna cook (again!) majorly. I know dishes from most regions but didnt know khichdi…weird huh? Anyhow, I better stop rambling and must commend u on ur site…..fun reading and easy tips…keep up the good work. I should send u some typical UP ka khana recipe maybe!!
    best regards
    harshika

  6. MK says:

    Just discovered your site last week while I was craving khichuri….. I tried your recipe and it was soooo yummy!! Can’t wait to try all the rest now! Thanks for posting 🙂

  7. Basyul says:

    Hey – it is one of those rainy days. i am sick with a cold and a raging fever. I stopped by to get a recipe for khichidi. It was really good. I would suggest a dash of hing when you are frying thecloves etc.

    BTW hang me for this – but you look hot 🙂

  8. […] is an Anglo-Indian dish based on the comfort food of Southern Asia, khichdi.  Traditionally eaten by wealthy Victorians for breakfast, it is now more commonly served at lunch […]

  9. Myna says:

    your recipe was quick and very easy. The dish turned out to be very tasty. Thank you.

  10. Anu says:

    Hi, my son loves to eat khichdi any time, any day. So, whenever there are only 2 of us at home i luv making khichdi and eating as it can be done quickly and also yummy::)) when served hot….

  11. […] Anthony’s Kitchen, RecipeBazaar, QuickIndianCooking, IndianSnacks, Anubhavati, Aarti, Anupama, Sushma, Posted in Texas Diary, Uncategorized. Tags: […]

  12. Swapnil says:

    Do you use pressure cooker or regular cooking vessel for khichdi? I am curious as usually in pressure cooker I don’t always get that mushy khichdi I love.

  13. Anne says:

    Very simple and delicious recipe. I think this is a one the best recipe for me. I will try it as soon as possible. Thanks for posting it.

  14. HI GUYS
    I DID LOVE THE RECIPE , BUT I MAKE MY KhichRI SLIGHTLY DIFFRENTLY, AS IM SINDHI , WE USE SPLIT GREEN MOONG LENTILS WITH RICE AND ADD WATER, SALT, KNOB OF BUTTER AND LET IT COOK ….IF U LIKE IT RUNNY ADD MORE WATER – OR IF U WANT TO HAVE LIKE RICE THEN THE REG AMT OF WATER…AFTER ITS DONE…

    (OPTIONAL IN SOME SINDHI HOMES: FRY SOME MUSTARD SEEDS AND GARNISH IT)

    AND WITH SERVE IT WITH FRIED OR BOILED POTATOES OR BINDI (OKRA- FRIED) YOGURT AND ROASTED PAPAD(PAPADOM) OR PICKLE ..

    TRUST ME HAVING IT THIS WAY SINCE I WAS A TODDLER ITS SUPER FAB THIS WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    THE REASON WITH DO NOT ADD OTHER INGRENDIENTS AS IT TRADITIONALLY GIVEN WHEN UR FEELING LOW OR FANCY A BREAK FROM THE MASALAS!!….

  15. Apsy says:

    This tastes great. Thanks Malika.

  16. […] This Indian dish of rice and lentils is another high-protein breakfast. It’s wonderfully comforting on a cold morning, and simple to prepare. There are probably as many different versions of khichdi in India as there are households. For a basic recipe, click here. […]

  17. Thuail says:

    Brilliant and simple recipe , i have followed just what you had written and ended up in a nice recipe , my french colleagues had a taste of it and they cant resist to become an indian..!!!
    Thanks..

  18. Tanuj kharb says:

    it is very easy to know the receipe of khichdee.

    Very simple and delicious recipe. I think this is a one the best recipe for me.

  19. I would like to take some information from this site and post it on my blog. Thanks

  20. Ferrol Lobo says:

    I am going to give your recipe a try for the first time. Sounds and appears easy on paper. Would you be so kind enough as to mention approximate cook times in your recipes! Please remember, that all your readers are not necessarily female! 😀

  21. Ann says:

    I grabbed your recipe for a demonstration at school in my 7th grade class. Tomorrow I will whip up the lentils in a wok during class and offer up samples along with Jasmine rice! The last time I did this people came from the office and other surrounding classrooms for a “sample” of whatever that is that smells so good! Thanks!

  22. mizjee says:

    This was my first time making Indian food with actual individual spices, instead of just adding “curry.” I live in a co-op with vegetarian tendencies, and let me tell you, this recipe was heartily appreciated! We added some chutney made by a former housemate, and some naan my boyfriend brought. Exquisite! I am going to look for more ideas on this site. Thanks again!

  23. Victoria says:

    Hi, I needed a Khichdi recipe, Did not know what it was. I was looking up DIY Solar Cooker and came across a unique design and they were cooking you guessed it – Khichdi.
    So my world of different foods and tastes is growing.I love trying new foods. And now with your blog I can try other recipes from India and SE Asia. Thank you

  24. […] is a wonderful way to impress guests alongside a Dhansak. Or simply serve with Khichdi for a super healthy […]

  25. Al says:

    Amazing recipe. Cooking it now

  26. H says:

    Just made this tonight after searching high and low for a quick but tasty khichdi recipe!
    I love how the initial masala gave it a pulao like flavor – very subtle but very warming.
    Perhaps just the way I made it but I would double this recipe for two people (although it wasn’t runny when i was done so perhaps that was the issue!)
    Will definitely make it again and try your other recipes!!

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