Brown Basmati Khichdi

Mallika Basu - Brown Basmati Khichdi

Inspired by the regal Bengali Cholar Dal, this wholesome dish has the added goodness of Brown Basmati rice. The nutty warmth of the rice and lentils is perfectly matched with the delicate sweetness of the coconut and ghee caramelised sugar in this Brown Basmati Khichdi. I've been enjoying this recipe for years, but a Supper Club with the lovely folks at Tilda Basmati for National Curry Week over in the UK, finally made me take the plunge and write it down. Needless to say, it went down a treat. There is a time and place for Khichdi, the Indian rice and lentil meal in one that doubles up as a giant hug in a bowl. This is classically eaten when the weather is rainy and miserable, when the body won't play ball and when a hug is needed most. It's best served with something crispy - roasted papad or fried goodies. The creamy texture of Khichdi is the Yin to the Yang of fried goodies. So here is the recipe for Brown Basmati Khichdi, for your eating and cooking pleasure. Read about what I served with it at the Tilda Basmati Supper Club here.


If using raw rice, wash the rice and lentils in a sieve thoroughly until the water runs clear. Place in a bowl, cover with fresh cold water and leave to soak f or at least half an hour. When the time is up, bring a large pan to heat on medium with the ghee. When it’s hot, add in the bay leaf, cardamoms, cinnamon as sugar. As the sugar caramelises, stir in the ginger.

Next, drain the rice and lentils and add it to the pan. Stir it well, adding the turmeric, salt and four cups of cold water. Stir again to incorporate the lot. Now, bring the whole lot to boil. When it does, lower the heat to a medium low and let the rice and lentils bubble away until cooked. This will take a good 30 – 35 minutes. If the rice starts drying out, add another cup of water and stir. If you’ re using the steamed pouch, just soak and cook the lentils first as above but with three cups of water. Then cook and mix in the contents of the steamed pouch about 25 minutes in, when the lentils are soft but still whole.

The texture of this dish is more moist than pulao but not as wet as a risotto. To finish, mix in the garam masala and check for salt, adding more if you fancy it. You could stir in a teaspoon of golden raisins too. Toast some coconut chips in ghee and drop on the top of the Brown Basmati Khichdi to serve.

13 responses to “Brown Basmati Khichdi”

  1. […] you fancy a taste of the evening, I have posted the recipe for the Brown Basmati Khichdi here and the Bengali prawn and coconut curry here. The photo accompanying this post is of the kheer. […]

  2. Our weather is now officially rainy and miserable, and so a giant hug in a bowl sounds like exactly what’s needed in our household. It’s time for us to switch back from our mostly-Mediterranean summer meals to our mostly-Indian winter fare. Therefore I will make some ghee as soon as I can get to the store for unsalted butter, and then I will try this recipe. I’ve got a considerable amount of brown basmati on hand (I seem to always gravitate to using white basmati because it’s faster, so the brown stuff has accumlated). And I’m sure I can find some suitable lentils in my pantry. Not sure where I’ll find coconut chips, but I do have some coarsely grated dried organic coconut that should toast up nicely. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Would you describe this as a sweet khichdi? I noticed there isn’t any chili in here. I’m also a little confused on the method. Do you soak the rice & lentils and then after draining them add them *both* to the pot and bring to a boil? Sounds great though I’m excited to try it

    • Mallika says:

      Hi Jennifer, it’s not sweet but it does have a hint of sweetness. And you are right, you soak the rice and lentils together and add them both to the pot to bring them to boil. Hope this helps and that you do try it. M x

  4. It’s my all time favorite comfort food and love the way you have made a simple dish look so elegant by your photography!

  5. easy, healthy and satisfying dish.

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  7. […] post Brown Basmati Khichdi appeared first on Mallika […]

  8. Megha Das says:

    The brown basmati khichdi is my all time favourite food. I always try to add variety to it. My recent purchase with The Organic Garden also gave me an idea of adding cereals to the khichdi and it turned out to be wonderful.

    Cereal with Khichdi is a great idea! M x

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