Thursday, January 7, 2010


If the Google is to be believed, khichri means a hash of rice and legumes. I thought this would be a nice change from the dal recipe I keep making again and again (it's awesome, to be sure, but it's time for some change). This is really comfort food--mellow, warm, easy to chew, and nourishing. It does not make for the greatest picture, but don't let that stop you from making this amazing dish.

- 1 sweet onion
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 5 cups water (more if needed)
- 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3 tbsp margarine
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Get water boiling in an ovenproof pan with a lid. Rinse rice and put in boiling water with onions, garlic, and salt. Reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered, for 20 mins.
2. Rinse red lentils and add to pan. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.
3. By now the rice and lentils will be mostly cooked and getting fairly dry. If too dry, mix in some more water, then place in the oven. Bake for 20-30 mins, until fully cooked.
4. Heat margarine in a small pan over medium heat and fry sliced shallots for 5-7 mins, until golden. Add in garam masala, then gently stir into khrichi along with the cilantro. Add water, if needed, to reach desired consistency. It can be more dry like a biryani, or wetter like a porridge. Season to taste and serve.


Kate said...

When you say "sweet onion," do you mean a red onion? Or do you mean a different variety? I will be trying this for sure.

Your blog and cookbook are helping my family so much. My 2010 goal is to cook vegetarian/vegan 5 days a week. (We were down to about 3 days a week in 2009 and the gradual transition has gone quite well. I am ready to add more days of meatless or animal-free cooking.) While my husband used to complain about all my vegetarian dishes in the past, he now brags to friends about how good vegan food is and there are lots of choices and tasty things to eat.

Thank you, Vegan Dad!

Tanya said...

Well it LOOKS tasty to me! Wonder if I can make it with already cooked rice....added to the lentils after they're done cooking? (I always have cooked rice from a rice cooker) Will have to try this.

Vegan Dad said...

Any onion will do, I think. I like vidalia or spanish onions, but yellow or red would work, too.

I don't think you would get the same texture and consistency, but I am sure it would still work.

nora said...

That looks great! so simple, but in a good way!

flamencokitty said...

I've been eating mujadarah a lot lately, and it's basically the same thing as this but with different spices :-P. I think I'll try it out!

Bianca said...

I love this Indian food kick you're on!

Sarah Goblot said...

Can you get vidalia onions in winter time?

I swear, for living it a isolate northern Ontario town, you have way better selections than me in Montreal.

There is also a middle eastern dish that is similar. Rice and brown lentils, with onions. Simple but yummy!

Thanks for all the amazing recipe.

Cardamom said...

this is the ultimate comfort food....there are SO many variations of the 'khichdi', I also use moong daal and oatmeal sometimes instead of the rice for a healthier version.
Your recipe looks wonderful!


LaValle Linn said...

Came for a soup recipe and decided to make this for dinner. Great job...

Beatrice said...

This looks delicious -- I like that it uses red lentils.

vegbooks said...

Yum, lentils, garam masala and cilantro. I know what my family is having for dinner tomorrow night!

Judy's Nutrition said...

It goes by many names, but kitchri/kitchdi is a very nourishing and healing dish according to ayurvedic beliefs. It is traditionally made with mung beans and rice, since both are exceptionally easy to digest and very healthful. Different spices and vegetables can be added depending on the desired health effect and flavour of the dish. Anyway, all that to say that I love kitchdi too, and it never looks pretty to photograph but that can be ignored!

vegbooks said...

Yum! I made this the other night and it was delicious, especially as leftovers today. (Though I might kick up the masala a bit next time -- we like things spicy.) Thanks for a great recipe!

Anonymous said...

These look good and healthy! I wonder if you could use quinoa instead of the rice. Maybe too drastic a switch.

LaValle Linn said...

I did make this the other night. Instead of cooking in the oven though I did it on top of the stove. Worked fine.

Willie said...

Loved this dish, and just glowingly blogged about it here:

Also, I thought you may want to clarify that the sweet onion is supposed to chopped (or whatever else you had in mind). I don't think many readers of your blog would be all that thrown off, but you never know.