Khichdi – or Indian Rice and Lentils

I guess I grew up eating plenty of Indian food. My mum spent some time in India before I was born and learnt to make all sorts of curries and other food. Perhaps she went a bit easy on the chilli for us kids – I certainly don’t have the ability to eat any of the super hot food you can get at restaurants! But it all tasted wonderful. Living in Leicester we also had so many great Indian restaurants and takeaways nearby – for us, a treat was to go to the “Samosa shop” on Sunday’s after church and get some tasty food for lunch!

But one thing I (and mum) always shied away from doing was cooking rice on the stove! Somehow it never quite worked. We both have a microwave rice cooker – you put the rice in, put water in, and bung it in the microwave for a quarter hour.

So, when I came across the recipe for “Khichdi” on Happivore, I wasn’t so sure. An Indian risotto-style dish? Sounds delicious, but…difficult!

I decided to give it a go anyway…putting a slight spin on it, as I always have to do things my own way! Whilst the recipe was supposed to use cumin and fenugreek seeds, it seems I couldn’t find any in my cupboards, so I used ground cumin and put mustard seeds in instead! I changed the proportions around a bit to make it a bit more vegetable-y as vegetables are good, and hoped for the best!

Don’t be put off by all the spices – it does taste lovely!



  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 100g uncooked rice
  • 150g dried lentils
  • 200g frozen peas
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. Put a bit of oil in a deep saucepan, heat it up, and fry the mustard seeds until they start going “pop”.
  2. Next, add the onion, garlic, and chilli, and fry for a couple of minutes before adding in the diced carrots.
  3. Once the carrots are cooked a bit, add in all the spices, followed by the tomatoes.
  4. Next, stir through the lentils and rice, and add in 600ml water.
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil, put the lid on, turn the heat down, and simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. You will see the water absorbing into the lentils and rice. After about 25 minutes, add the frozen peas and leave to cook some more.
  7. The khichdi is done when the lentils and rice are soft and it looks – well, like a risotto.
  8. Serve with pitta or naan bread, and enjoy! 

Many thanks to for the recipe!

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