Moong Dal Khichdi is a very light, nutritious, and delicious recipe from India. Made by cooking mung bean & rice together and gently flavored with Indian spices, it's the comfort food of India.
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Last week, we had to make a sudden, unplanned trip to India due to some family exigency. Thankfully everything is alright now but the stressful traveling for a week and eating out, almost every day, left me sick by the end of the trip.
After reaching back home, the only food for which my soul ached is a very humble recipe from India-moong dal ki Khichdi. Many Indians consider it bimaron ka khana (food for sick people) but I relish it and a plate of hot Khichdi with a dollop of ghee and pickle is all I need to feel good. It’s one of my comfort foods.
What is Khichdi?
Khichdi is a vegetarian recipe from the Indian subcontinent which is made by cooking rice, lentil, and sometimes vegetables together in one pot over low heat until everything blends well. It is very light, nutritious, and tastes delicious.
This dish is so comforting and tasty that many travelers from History like Ibn Batuta of Morocco, Afanasiy Nikitin from Russia, and Greek King Seleucus mentioned Khichdi in their writing.
It’s believed that even the National Dish of Egypt Koshari was inspired by Khichdi.
Even doctors and nutritionists in India suggest eating Khichdi to people having digestion-related ailments or those who are on a weight loss journey. A light Khichdi is also one of the initial foods which are given to the babies in India.
A lot of Indian celebrities call this humble dish their favorite food.
There are various versions of Khichdi found in India. You can make it using different lentils or a combination of lentils. If you want to have a low carb diet, even rice can be replaced with any other low carb grain. Like Bajre ki Khichdi in which rice is replaced with pearl millet.
Today I am sharing the most common and lightest version of Khichdi i.e. moong dal ki Khichdi.
Moong dal Khichdi is made with rice and split skinned mung bean.
The ratio of lentil and rice
Different people use a different ratio of lentil and rice in Khichdi. You can also change the ratio as per your liking.
Mostly, I prefer taking an almost equal portion of lentil and rice in the Khichdi. However, if I want to make a low carb Khichdi, I either use a low carb grain or just increase the proportion of lentil
It’s such an easy recipe that I often make it on extra long and tiring days in the office.
How to serve?
There is a saying about the side dishes eaten with Khichdi at my grandparent's house – Khichdi tere chaar yaar - dahi, mooli, ghee, achaar, which means Khichdi has four friends – curd, radish, clarified butter and pickle so it’s always served with them. If you don’t have radish, you can also serve it with thinly sliced onions or any other salad like Kachumber Salad.
We generally also serve some toasted Papadums with it.
It can also be enjoyed just like that but adding a spoon of ghee to a bowl of hot Khichdi, takes it to a different level.
Is Khichdi Vegan or vegetarian?
All the main ingredients used to make Khichdi are vegan. However, the cooking medium is generally ghee which is clarified butter. Also, most of the time, ghee is drizzled on top of Khichdi before eating.
If you are a vegan, just use a vegan cooking medium and don’t drizzle ghee on top.
What type of rice to use?
Always use short or medium grain rice in Khichdi. With long grain rice, you will never get the rice consistency.
How to make Khichdi without a pressure cooker?
Yellow Moong dal doesn't take much time to get cooked so you can make moong dal Khichdi in a normal pot too. Just add more water and cook for around 45 minutes to an hour or till everything blends well together and you get Risotto like consistency.
More mung bean recipes
More vegan one-pot meal ideas
Who doesn't love easy one-pot vegan meals? Especially after a long tiring day or on a cold night. If you are looking for one-pot vegan meal ideas then do check the following recipes on my blog:
- Chickpea Pulao
- Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Vegan lasagna soup
- Vegan Orzo with mushrooms and green peas
- Greek Spinach Rice
- Mexican Rice
If you try any of my recipes then please don’t miss to rate it in the comments section below.
Step by step photo instructions
Moong Dal Khichdi
- 1/2 cup short/ medium grain rice
- 1/2 cup split skinned mung bean dhooli moong dal
- 4 cups water
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 small tomato finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 green chili finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tbsp Ghee/ any other cooking oil of your choice
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
- Mix rice and lentil. Wash nicely and keep aside.
- Heat ghee/ oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds, saute for a few seconds or till they become fragrant.
- Next, add the asafoetida powder, saute for a few seconds before adding the garlic. Saute till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Add onion and cook till it becomes translucent.
- Now add the tomatoes, ginger, chili, salt, and turmeric powder. Saute for around 2 minutes or till the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Add the rice, lentil, chopped coriander leaves, and water. Put on the lid of the cooker and cook till 2 whistles on medium flame.
- Drizzle some ghee on top. Serve hot with pickle, salad, and papadums.
- You can also cook it in a normal pot. Just add around 7 cups of water and cook on medium flame till you get the desired consistency. It will take around 45 minutes to one hour if you use a normal pot.
- Always use small or medium sized grain to make Khichdi.
- You can also add vegetables like green peas, spinach, carrot, cauliflower to make it even more nutritious.