Khichdi is an Indian stew of rice, lentils and vegetables. I cobbled together my own recipe when my daughter was a few months old, and five years later it is still a healthy staple I rely on to fill gaps in her nutrition. Several friends have asked me for the kids’ version so I’m finally getting around to writing this. It’s pretty forgiving (so forgiving, in fact, that you’ll notice I measure some ingredients by the fistful) so don’t overthink it.
- A fistful of white rice
- A fistful of split red lentils
- 2–3 fistfuls of diced mixed veggies.
I typically use frozen blends I can find at Whole Foods—carrots, corn, beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini in any combination.
- A pinch of ground asafetida
You could skip this, or go for a generous pinch if your kid is older.
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder
Optional. I literally use a bean chili spice blend, but you could also use mild chili pepper grind.
- 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Mix the rice and lentils in a pot, and rinse them out with water 2–3 times. This just washes out the rice flour and dirt, avoids making a gummy the stew.
Add the mixed veggies.
Add 4 cups of water (you could use a little less if you like your stew less soupy).
Add all the spices and stir well to make sure there are no clumps. Stir in the olive oil.
Place the pot on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Once the mixture starts to boil, turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer for another 10–12 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Check to see if the rice is done. I tend to overcook it; it just works better that way in the stew.
Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it cool for about 10 min.
I drizzle on a bit more olive oil when I serve it. A dollop of yogurt can help take the edge off the spice, and just goes really well with khichdi. At times, I’ve mixed in a soft-boiled egg, too. Anything goes 😋