Khichdi - A Dish of Lentils and Rice Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Khichdi - A Dish of Lentils and Rice

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Khichdi is a simple Gujarati1 lentil-and-rice dish that can be made with minimal fuss. Traditionally, khichdi is eaten with kadhi, a savoury curry made with a yoghurt base, but it works well with anything that is strongly flavoured or spicy as the khichdi itself is mild.

There are, of course, variations to this dish. However, the recipe below is the basic one.

This recipe serves four. Preparation time is about five minutes; cooking time is about 30 - 40 minutes.


  • 1 cup white basmati rice, washed in water and drained
  • 1 cup yellow lentils2, washed and soaked in water and drained
  • About 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 (half) teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.3

  2. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds. Allow cumin seeds to splutter but do not let them get burnt.

  3. Fold in the yellow lentils and rice. Mix cumin seeds thoroughly with the lentils and rice.

  4. Stir in water and salt.

  5. Bring to boil.

  6. Lower the heat, partially cover the pot and cook until the rice is cooked.

Serve hot with a sprinkling of coriander. This dish can also be served with some plain yoghurt.

Khichdi can also be cooked in a pressure cooker or in a microwave. In both cases, the cooking time should be reduced to about 20 – 30 minutes.


Other ingredients can be added to the khichdi. These can be experimented with to vary the taste of the final dish.


  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Chilli
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Turmeric powder
  • Asafoetida4
  • Fenugreek
  • Peppercorns

Chopped onions and ginger can also be added.

These spices should be added after the oil has been heated. They should not be added all together, as too many spices can spoil the flavour of the dish.


  • Green peas
  • Cabbage
  • Pumpkin
  • Potato
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot

These are just examples of the types of vegetables that can be added. Feel free to experiment. A word of caution: use only combinations of 2 - 3 vegetables together. Otherwise, the khichdi will taste like a hodgepodge of conflicting flavours.

1Originating in Gujarat, a state in western India.2Also known as yellow moong dhal.3Preferably one with a cover, which will be able to contain the amount of rice and lentils cooked.4From Persian aza, for mastic or resin, and Latin foetidus, for stinking. A gum from a giant fennel used in Indian cooking.

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