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Chana Dal Khichri


"In India, Khichri is fed to the those recovering from illness or to young toddlers as it is supposed to be easy on the stomach, and very nutritious," writes Bharati Agarwal, who kindly provides her recipe. "I relish it simply because the smells are synonymous with mum cooking in the kitchen. In Hindi Khichri literally means mixture."


  • 1.5 cups (measured uncooked) chana dal (pre-soaked for 30 minutes)
  • 2 cups basmati or other rice (pre-soaked 15 minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • half an onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, salt to taste
  • whole garam masala, consisting of 2 bay leaves, 1 stick cinnamon, 2 cloves, 3 black pepper seeds
  • low fat yogurt
  • Chopped coriander/parsley for garnishing
Optional Ingredients:

  • bottle gourd (dudhi)
  • tomatoes

  • Mix the chana dal and rice along with the turmeric powder and red chili powder. Coarsely pound the whole garam masala and add to the mix along with salt. Add any optional ingredients.

  • Add enough water to cover above an inch of the layer. Pressure cook for 10 minutes or for 2 whistles on the cooker. Switch off the heat and let cool so that the excess water can be absorbed by the grains.

  • Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the cumin seeds. Wait for the seeds to sputter, then add the chopped onion and saute till light brown. Switch off the heat.
Serving Suggestion:

  • Serve the cooked Chana Dal Khichri on a plate.
  • Pour the oil with the cumin seeds and sauteed onions on top.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
  • Serve piping hot with chilled yogurt.
  • Enjoy!


Contributed by Bharati Agarwal from Mumbai (Bombay), India.

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Last modified: August 9, 2002

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