Bengali Moong Dal Khichdi Recipe

As I sit down to eat the vegetable-filled khichdi (a well-digestible rice and lentil porridge), I sigh happily watching the steam rising from my plate. It's a cold November day. I'm sitting in front of my porridge-filled bowl, feeling the warmth of food as it spreads throughout my body. Normally, when I am as hungry as I am today, I really get down to eating in the religious places sharing community meals.

But this time it is different. A sense of fullness captures me at the mere sight of the colors and the seductive fragrance. The water runs in my mouth as I watch the ghee (clarified butter) slowly moving on the hot food. At that moment, I wish everyone loved Khichdi as much as I did and did not associate it with anything.

Khichdi is my favorite for hearty food. I firmly believe that it is the ingredient of love that makes it so tasty. The art of loving food and preparing food with love is for me the essence of healthy nutrition. For me, the conscious application of the universal guidelines of humanity is very important when it comes to cooking and healthy eating.

At the dazzling pace of the 21st century, the essence of healthy eating seems to be falling behind, considering how much we have gulping snacks on the road, the microwave ready meals and the food while sitting on the iPhone, we have gotten used to. So, the days we sat with the family at the table, reciting a prayer and taking time to chew, are a thing of the past.

However, when we think outside the box into other cultures, we find that sitting together and eating together is like a common thread through all cultures, a thread that holds together the social fabric of a society.

Khichdi is an ancient delicious traditional dish used for thousands of years. Khichdi is also known as khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari and many other variants is a dish of Indian cuisine containing a combination of rice and lentils. It is generally considered an informal dish. Khichdi is the first solid food people give their babies in India.

The rice and lentils are soaked until they lose their consistency and is seasoned with turmeric and salt. The khichdee is also the first food that is served to the sick and patients.

The Khichdi is usually served with another Indian dish called Kadhi. Other accompaniments are papads, Beguni or fried eggplants, ghee or clarified butter, achar and yogurt. Khichri is a comfort food for the people of India and those following a Saatvik diet of Ayurveda. It is considered as a nutrient rich, light and simple food and is prepared without any spices. It is widely recommended by doctors to patients, children and the elderly who are recovering from diseases.

During the Mughal Empire, classical khichdi went through several modifications. They were supplemented with nuts, spices, and dry fruits. During Akbar's rule, the royal kitchen prepared and distributed Khichri every day. Jahangir admired Khichri prepared with a large amount of ghee, fresh dry fruits, and nuts. There is a Khichdi recipe recorded in Ain-I-Akbari. Alamgiri Khichri was developed for Aurangzeb. The Khichdi recipe has been customized to conform to the Anglo-Indian delight, by adding fish and eggs to the ingredients during British colonial rule.

It was called Kedgeree and became famous during British times as a predominant breakfast. Soon it was proliferated outside India to the United Kingdom during the rule of Queen Victoria. In ashrams, churches, temples, mosques and synagogues, this concept of eating together is lived.

So the question is, how do we manage to integrate that value back into our busy everyday lives? It is phenomena like the Internet, Facebook and Twitter that are isolating us more and more. In addition, everyone seems to be busy only with his iPhone.

The coexistence disappears, you lose the relationship to each other. Thus, the culture is also impoverished. We need to reunite more with family and friends and also organize gatherings that cover topics such as diet and food culture in other countries. In this way we get to know different cultures through eating and thus connect with each other.

By means of the community eating, we can learn what it means to get in touch with oneself, to listen to the needs of the body and thus to practice more fellowship again. Healthy diet as love for yourself.

You can make your own Khichri with rice, and a combination of legumes like Moong and chana. You might even add vegetables and split wheat or Dalia. Ghee is an important ingredient according to the traditional recipe.

You can also add nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, chironji, chilgoza, and dry fruits like raisins and chopped apricots to improve their nutritional value, as well as to garnish. The consistency of the finished recipe varies from being dry like a Biryani to wet depending on tastes and preferences. Khichri is served with yogurt, kadhi, and pickles. Traditional Khichri is not spicy.

Khichdi image

Recipe Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Calories: 463 calories


2 cups basmati rice
1 cup red lentil
1 cup green lentil
2 tbsp ghee
1 tomato
1 capsicum
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cardamom
1 black cardamom
2 sticks cinnamon stick
1 green chili
2 cloves
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
A pinch asafoetida, cayenne pepper
1 tsp whole mustard
1 carrot
1 french bean
1 cup peas
1 tsp turmeric powder
10 cauliflower florets
1 potato
1 onion
1 sprig spinach
1 cup soy granules
2 bay leaves
Cilantro and lemon

Recipe Method:

Wash rice and lentils together and drain the water out.

Heat some ghee clarified butter in a vessel and fry the bay leaves, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves for two minutes. Mix all the vegetables, potatoes, soy granules, lentils, mustard, jalapeno, turmeric powder and the rice except for the sweet peas, with a dash of salt and lightly fry for 5 minutes in 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix in 6 cups of boiling water and salt. Cover and stir fry on low heat up till done. Stir a few times. Once the water dries up after another 5 minutes, keep aside over very low heat to keep it warm.

Heat oil in a separate pan and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida and let it splutter. When the seeds crackle, add the onions, tomatoes, sweet peas and green chili and saute for another minute to let it turn golden brown. Once fried, add them to the rice and mix thoroughly but gently. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Check frequently to make sure you have enough water and things are not really stuck to the bottom or is getting burnt up. When rice is done, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro.

Add lemon and serve with some fried fish, or eggs or even grilled veggies or pure ghee.

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  • Neha
    Neha September 15, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Khitchri is my all time favorite...I love it with a big dollop of ghee and curd...This is a very healthy version..

  • Tiffanee
    Tiffanee September 15, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    WOW! That looks beautiful and delicious! YUM!!

  • Magia da Inês
    Magia da Inês September 16, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    ♥♫♪Olá, amigo!
    *✿ Parece muito delicioso!
    ♥♫♪Bom fim de semana!

  • Kala
    Kala September 16, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    That does look so delicious!

  • kankana
    kankana September 16, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    A go-to comforting meal specially after a busy busy day :)

  • cookingvarieties
    cookingvarieties September 16, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    hi kalyan, you just know how to take great photos. even before i read your ingredients, i already bookmarked this with many thanks for sharing. look so yummy, i simply love biryani and any flavored rice..cheers,mmm delicious

  • Ramakrishnan
    Ramakrishnan September 17, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    Mouthwatering !

  • Scarlet
    Scarlet September 17, 2011 at 6:07 AM

    looks delicious... that ghee with rice is really good ~

  • Padmajha
    Padmajha September 19, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    This is one of our favorite dish. Our version is a little different though. Yours look very delicious :)

  • Maria Verivaki
    Maria Verivaki September 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    this looks like a very colourful pilafi - and is that some kind of raita next to it? (yum)

  • FlowerLady Lorraine
    FlowerLady Lorraine September 25, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    This looks delicious. I love trying new recipes from different countries. This looks very healthy too.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment.


  • Melody
    Melody September 25, 2011 at 4:58 AM

    This looks so delicious

  • Christine's Pantry
    Christine's Pantry September 25, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Looks wonderful. Love this.

  • Unknown
    Unknown September 26, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    wow..dat looks real yum...:)


  • grace
    grace September 27, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    tasty! i like the potential for so many variations--peas would be a must for me!

  • Erika
    Erika September 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    It looks like very tasty. But what is papad?
    Have a nice day!
    Erika from Italy

  • beti
    beti October 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Never heard of this, it looks really good and it is nice to try new things so I'll give it a try!

  • Shabs
    Shabs October 3, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Hey there , thank you for visiting my blog and for the comments : ) , the kichdi is looking delish!!!

  • MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!.
    MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!. October 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    mmm ...Yum yum and classic recipe.Impressive clicks too.Luv it.Happy Diwali and Cheers.

  • Only Fish Recipes
    Only Fish Recipes January 9, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    wow...khicdi looks so delicious dear...loved the vibrant color :-)

  • What's Baking??
    What's Baking?? January 9, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    You have one of the best ingredient (at least for me)..the yogurt! haahaa..nice color and it looks delicious.

  • Unknown
    Unknown January 9, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Khitchdi looks delicious and what vibrant colors!!

  • Felicity Grace Terry
    Felicity Grace Terry April 6, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    Yum. Is it time for me to eat yet?

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