Simplicity at it’s most comforting, this staple Indian dish of rice and lentils is one to memorise, rinse and repeat. 

Whether you’re mending a broken heart, wanting to show your lover that you care, need to nourish yourself, cooking on a budget, recovering from sickness, meal prepping, cooking for your baby, or any other reason why you might need a hug in a bowl – Khitchri has your back. In it’s simplest form, Khitchri is rice, lentils and ghee – the trio of comforting food textures. To that, a simple tempered spice mix is added, which can and should change depending on your mood.

Cooking to soothe an upset tummy or baby might mean you drop almost all the spices. Whilst cooking Khitchri for a chilly winter’s night might mean you add more warmth and kick with maybe some Garam Masala and fresh chilli to garnish. Serve as it is, with roasted veggies, or with a dollop of yoghurt and tangy pickle like I do, scoop it up with chapatis, or alongside the warm Gujarati yoghurt-based soup called Khari, eating Khitchri is a judgement-free zone of joy. The texture should be creamy and almost stodgy, like the perfect bowl of savoury porridge. 

Khitchri

Khitchri

5 from 1 vote
Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 200 g basmati rice

  • 100 g split red lentils

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 3 tbsp ghee, plus extra to serve

  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tsp tomato puree

  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves

  • Fresh coriander to serve

  • Salt

Directions

  • Rinse the rice and lentils in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear.
  • Add the rice and lentils to a large saucepan, along with with turmeric, cardamom pods, good pinch of salt and 1.5 litres of water. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down and allow to cook for 30 minutes, or until the rice is overcooked and the lentils creamy. Stir occasionally to stop it from catching to the bottom of the pan.
  • 
Heat 3 tbsp of the the ghee in a separate frying pan. Ass the mustard and cumin seeds, followed by the onion and a pinch of salt as the seeds begin to splutter. Fry over a medium heat until the onion softens. Next add the garlic and ginger paste, ground coriander, chilli powder, tomato puree and fenugreek leaves and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Stir the tempered spice and onion mix through the cooked rice and lentils, stir well to combine, taste for seasoning and salt if needed. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with extra dollops of ghee on top.

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