Khichdi (Lentil & Vegetable Rice)


Khichdi (Lentil & Vegetable Rice)

I grew up eating Khichdi, a rice dish cooked with lentils and simmered with ginger and spices. Every Indian household has their own version of it, and this is mine. I serve it with greens and vegetables and garnish it with peanuts -- it’s a weekend comfort food and dinner party showstopper in our household!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Allergens: Dairy, Nuts
  • Servings: 6


  • 1/3 cup split yellow lentils
  • 1/3 cup pink lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups white basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or oil of choice
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods (cracked, discard green shells and use only black seeds)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 garlic cloves (large, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted, or vegan butter)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fried peanuts (raw peanuts fried in hot vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bunches kale (veins removed, finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Red pepper chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Olive oil spray
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Lime juice
  • 16 ounces yogurt (2%)
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds


The Rice & The Lentils

  1. Put yellow lentils in a bowl and fill with cold tap water.

  2. Swish lentils around with your hands, pouring off water.  

  3. Wash lentils 5 times.  

  4. Cover yellow lentils with lukewarm tap water and let soak for 30 minutes.  

  5. Wash pink lentils the same way and cover and soak them in lukewarm water for 20 minutes.  

  6. Wash rice the same way and soak in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. 

  7. Drain lentils in a sieve and set aside in a bowl.  

  8. Drain the rice in a sieve and set aside in a separate bowl.  

  9. Heat oil in a 6-quart pot over moderate heat until warm.  

  10. Add cloves, cracked cardamom, and cinnamon, then cook until spices are fragrant (about 1 minute).

  11. Add cumin seeds, peppercorns, garlic, and onions, and cook for 1 minute, continuing to stir while onions are cooking.  

  12. Add ginger and butter, stirring until the onions are golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). 

  13. Add stock, drained lentils, drained rice, and salt to taste. 

  14. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low.  

  15. Simmer mixture covered, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.  

  16. Stir in fried peanuts, then continue to stir and cook rice for an additional 5 minutes.  

  17. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes, removing the cinnamon stick but leaving all other spices.  

The Kale

  1. Heat oil in a skillet.  

  2. Add kale and let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring with tongs. 

  3. When kale starts to wilt (after 2-3 minutes), add garlic and salt, continuing to stir kale until kale is fully wilted and dry (about 5 minutes).

  4. Remove from heat and add crushed red pepper.  

The Cauliflower

  1. Cut florets of 1 cauliflower head and cut each floret into 2 halves.  

  2. In a big bowl, add salt and boiling water.  

  3. Add cut florets and cover the bowl.  

  4. Let the cauliflower cook in water for 5 minutes. 

  5. Drain cauliflower in a sieve and set aside in a bowl.  

  6. Spray cauliflower with olive oil spray, then sprinkle in salt and pepper and lime juice, mixing well.

  7. Heat the grill and place halved cauliflower pieces on the grill, cooking each side for 2-3 minutes.  

The Yogurt

  1. Whisk yogurt and milk really well.  

  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.  

  3. Heat vegetable oil and add black mustard seeds.  

  4. Cook mustard seeds in oil until you hear a cracking sound.  

  5. Add cracked mustard seeds to yogurt and discard oil. This yogurt can be made a couple of hours ahead and refrigerated.  

The Assembly

  1. To assemble the dish, place 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt on the bottom.  

  2. Mold rice in a cup and unmold it on top of yogurt.  

  3. Place kale and cauliflower on either side of the rice and serve immediately.