Khichdi recipe is a delicious one pot meal of rice and moong lentils. Moong Dal Khichdi is light and easy to digest healthy food. Stove-top pressure cooker, Instant Pot and Stove-top Pan instructions are included in the recipe card.
Soak both rice and lentils for 30 minutes in water.
After 30 minutes, drain all the water and set aside.
Sautéing onions, tomatoes, spices
Heat ghee or oil in pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds. When cumin splutters then add onions.
Sauté onions until translucent. No need to make onions light brown or golden brown.
Once the onions become translucent, then add tomatoes, green chilli and ginger.
Mix and add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix again and sauté until the tomatoes softens.
Add the rice and moong lentils to the pressure cooker.
Stir and sauté for a minute. Add water and season with salt.
Mix well. Check the taste of the water and it should be slightly salty.
Close the lid tightly and pressure cook on a high heat for 7 to 8 whistles or 8 to 9 minutes on medium-high to high heat.
Switch off heat and wait. Let the pressure fall naturally in the cooker.
When there is no pressure in the cooker, remove the lid and check the consistency. If khichdi looks too thick, add some hot water and mix well.
Keep on sim or low heat to simmer for a few minutes until you get the right consistency.
The consistency of khichdi can be adjusted as per your choice by adding less or more water. Some people prefer thick and some thin consistency.
While serving drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of ghee on top while serving. Optional step.
Serve moong dal khichdi hot or warm with curd (yogurt) and accompanying salad.
Instant Pot Khichdi
Press the sauté function of your IP. Let the display read 'hot'. Add ghee or oil. Fry cumin seeds until they splutter.
Add onions and sauté until they soften. Tip in the tomatoes, ginger, green chillies and sauté stirring often until tomatoes soften. Stir in the turmeric powder and asafoetida.
Add soaked rice and lentils. Stir deglazing if needed.
Pour 3.5 cups water and salt. Deglaze removing any stuck ingredients from the bottom of the pan.
Seal with the IP lid and set the valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. When you hear the beep sound, wait for 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release lifting the valve carefully.
Check the khichdi consistency. If it is too thick, add some hot water and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes using the sauté function. If khichdi has a thin consistency, sauté for some more minutes until you get the desired consistency. Serve hot or warm.
Dal Khichdi in a Pan (stove-top)
To make khichdi in a pan, follow all the directions as listed for the pressure cooker version in a pan until you add the rice and lentils.
After you add the rice and lentils, give a good stir and sauté for a minute. Add 4 to 4.5 cups water and season with salt. Cover the pan and cook on a medium-low to medium flame until the lentils are softened and mushy.
Keep a check while cooking and if the water has dried up with undercooked lentils, add some hot water and combine well. Cover and continue to cook.
When the khichri is cooked, check the consistency. If thick, add some hot water and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. For a thin consistency, continue too cook for some more minutes.
The sides that that pair great and make khichdi a satisfying complete meal are Curd (yogurt), Papad (roasted or fried), Pickle and Ghee - a teaspoon or two drizzled on top of the khichdi
You can also serve it with any raita or salad. I like to to enjoy khichdi drizzled with some lemon juice and served with Eggplant Fries or Potato Fries and with a finely chopped vegetable salad.
Storage and Leftovers
I always prefer to eat and serve khichdi fresh as it can become dry and lumpy on cooling or after some hours.
If you do end up with leftovers, you can store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 1 day.
I also prefer to reheat the dish in a saucepan instead of the oven so that I can add some water to thin it a bit and ensure everything is evenly heated before serving.
On cooling khichdi does thicken and becomes lumpy, so you have to add some water to it while reheating.
Ingredient Notes and Variations
Consistency: Unlike other rice-based dishes like pulao or biryani, in khichdi the rice grains are not as separated. You can increase or decrease the water quantity to vary the consistency of the moong dal khichdi. Some prefer a khichdi with a thick porridge consistency, but if you want a slightly thinner or more soupy consistency, you can increase the amount of water.
Stovetop: I usually prepare khichdi in the pressure cooker or instant pot, but if you do not have a one, then you can still make the dal khichdi in a pan or pot. It's important to note that you will have to add more water when cooking in a pot.
Vegetables: You can add mixed veggies to the recipe. Sometimes I add green peas, carrots and french beans to this dal khichdi to make it more healthier. Various vegetables can be added to make the khichdi rich in nutrients and fibre - like green peas, potatoes, carrots, green beans, zucchini, spinach, fenugreek leaves, cauliflower, broccoli, capsicum and brinjal.
Lentils: Moong dal is the lentils that is used traditionally in a khichdi recipe. Red lentils (masoor dal) and pigeon pea lentils (tur dal) also make a good dal khichdi. You can even make khichdi with a combination of these three lentils.
Rice, other grains and millets: Though white rice is used commonly to make khichdi, you can make it with brown rice or broken rice. There are some more khichdi variations made with millets, oats and cracked wheat (dalia).
Spices: For a rich flavor of the spices, you can add tej patta, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, green cardamom.
Ghee: Clarified butter aka ghee gives a better flavor in khichdi than the oil.
Vegan and Gluten-free: To make vegan and gluten-free khichdi, use a neutral tasting oil and skip asafoetida.