Khichdi (Indian Rice and Lentils) and Potato Fries

April 26, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

For many Indians, khichdi—a one-pot meal of rice cooked with lentils and vegetables—is a comfort food and a diet staple. There are hundreds of recipes for preparing it and hundreds of ways of consuming it. Many Bengalis enjoy khichdi with an assorted platter of deep-fried vegetables and fried fish, while others serve it with either pickles or yogurt.

The consistency of this khichdi will be a little runny like shown in the pictures. Using 8 cups water is fine, if you want to consume the whole amount right away. However if you're planning to refrigerate and re-heat later, you need to add 10 cups of water otherwise the khichdi will turn into a lump of rice and lentil upon refrigeration. The taste of this khichdi is not going to be super spicy but If you want spicy, you can increase the amount of red chiles and ginger in the recipe. Remember, this is a particular style recipe where spices are not used very much.

Dolphia Nandi

Serves: 4


For the khichdi:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup yellow lentil (mung dal)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 12 to 15 green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 green chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8-10 cups water(Check notes above)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, for garnishing

For the potato fries:

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In This Recipe


  1. Place the rice in a colander and rinse it under running water. Then add it to a bowl and cover it with water so that it soaks while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a non-stick soup-pot, over medium heat, toast the yellow lentils. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the color turns light golden brown and releases a nice aroma. Transfer to a strainer and wash thoroughly under running water. Set it aside.
  3. In the same soup pot, over medium-high heat, heat clarified butter. Once hot, add cumin seeds and bay leaf and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until they start to splutter.
  4. Add sliced onion and ginger and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add green beans and carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add peas, chile, tomato, turmeric, chili powder, and salt and cook over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tomatoes soften.
  5. Drain the rice, then add it to the pot with the lentils and 8 cups of water. Cover and cook for 38 to 40 minutes, or until soft.
  6. Meanwhile, mix together potato pieces, salt, turmeric, and ground chili powder. In a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, heat vegetable oil. Add potato pieces and cook, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes soften.
  7. Garnish the khichi with cilantro and serve warm with potato fries on the side.

More Great Recipes:
Indian|Carrot|Cilantro|Cumin|Grains|Lentil|Potato|Rice|Pea|Fry|One-Pot Wonders|Make Ahead

Reviews (18) Questions (0)

18 Reviews

weshook January 11, 2019
Delicious! Somehow when I went to make this I was out of red lentils and chile powder, so I improvised with brown lentils and medium hot paprika. I roasted the potatoes in the oven since all burners on the stove were in use. I love those potatoes!
Dee July 21, 2018
Using 10 cups of water for soaked White basmati rice may be too much. However this is brown rice. It takes a longer time to soak and more water. I used 9 cups and it was fine. My rice soaked for at least 30 minutes then drained. It does say in the recipe 8 to 10 cups of water. Higher altitudes take more water. I hope this helps out. Never toasted the dahl before. Wonderful flavor. I did add more fresh chili and powder. We like it a bit more Spivey. Thank you for a great recipe!
VanessaJo April 15, 2018
This was quite delicious! I had to make a few substitutions, as follows: red split lentils instead of yellow, a mix of snap peas and green bell pepper instead of peas and green beans, ground cumin for cumin seed, and a mix of butter and coconut oil for the ghee. I found 8 cups of water to be spot on. Thanks!
Anjani May 20, 2016
I've made this in a similar way for thirty years but never roasted the Dahl before..I really noticed the difference in depth of flavor!<br />Thank you!
Author Comment
Dolphia N. May 20, 2016
I am so glad to hear that!
Abigail M. May 15, 2016
Would love instructions for adapting this for the pressure cooker if you have them!
Melanie S. May 2, 2016
I made this using 8 cups of water (10 seemed like a lot). I had to boil it down an extra 20 minutes because it was still watery. Flavour seemed to get watered down as well. I had to add quite a bit of salt, and I'm thinking maybe garlic in the beginning would have added more flavour. I substituted coconut oil for the ghee, but kept everything else the same. I wonder if that's why there didn't seem to be as much flavour.
Author Comment
Dolphia N. May 3, 2016
Melanie, <br />First thing first, everything is there for a reason. So yes, coconut oil changes the taste how the final dish is going to be. Second, this is not a spicy Indian dish - it's a bit runny, mellow flavored dish. India has over 20 or more khichdi recipe, this is not a spicy one of them.
Jana E. May 2, 2016
I found that 10 cups was way too much water.
Author Comment
Dolphia N. May 2, 2016
Jana, <br />I prepare this every other week and with brown rice, I never found it's over watery however consistency of this particular type of khichdi is a bit runny.
Kay May 2, 2016
Hi- I just made this and it was not a success unfortunately. I had to buy green lentils and white basmati because the grocery store didn't have yellow lentils or brown basmati. I followed your recipe to a T after that, but with 10 cups of water, my Khichdi turned out to be really watery and porridge-ish, and did not turn out like your beautiful picture. Was it really my substitutions that ruined my dish?
Author Comment
Dolphia N. May 2, 2016
Kay,<br />I am very much sorry to hear that your dish did not turn out good. Yes the quantity of water really depends on the kind or rice you're using. White basmati rice requires much less water and i never used green lentil in khichdi, so i can't comment on that. However i sometimes love porride-ish consistency of khichdi when i am preparint with bulgur. If you don't like the taste, you can add some fried cashew ans raisins (with ghee) to the khichdi. Let me know if you would like to know how to fix the current one.
MaureenAspen May 7, 2018
When making a dish for the first time, it's nice to have guidelines on salt (1/2 tsp - 1 tsp depending on preference) for example. <br />I'm going to try adding fried cashews and raisins. <br />
MtAdventurer April 29, 2016
I started making a version of this after reading "The Hot Belly Diet". It is very filling and yet does not sit heavy on the stomach. I make a portion per the book in an electric pressure cooker: 1/4 cup brown basmati rice, 1/2 cup dal and 2 1/2 cups water, 14 minutes natural release. I add veg after - mostly I am roasting or braising vegetables. Electric is slightly lower pressure than stovetop so if doing stovetop, maybe a bit longer ???
Author Comment
Dolphia N. May 2, 2016
I never used an electric or stove top pressure cooker to cook khichdi, however my mom does. I will ask her and let you know.
Jackie P. April 28, 2016
Have you ever made this in a presure cooker?
Author Comment
Dolphia N. April 28, 2016
Yes, Would like the instruction for that?
What W. May 1, 2016
Oh, yes please Dolphia!