Masoor Dal Khichdi (Indian Orange Lentil Rice)

Masoor Dal Khichdi (Indian Orange Lentil Rice) Recipe

Kitcheri is a very simple recipe that requires only a few ingredients from the pantry. It's a blend of coral-colored lentils, called masoor dal, with basmati rice and a few other typical Indian spices.

It's very nutritious for all the vegetarians in the house. The lentils provide a lot of protein. The key to a good kitcheri though is a flavorful raita, or yogurt sauce. Check back tomorrow for the recipe!


Yields: 4 servings

1-½ cups basmati rice
3/4 cup masoor dal
4 cups water
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, for color
4 cloves
1 (1-inch) stick cinnamon
4 whole coriander seeds
6 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
3 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons ghee
1 pinch sugar (optional)
1/3 cup fried onions, not too browned
1 drizzle lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


Mix lentils and rice in a bowl. Wash and rinse thoroughly in several water baths (about three times) and set aside for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight. Drain the rice and lentils.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add the oil and about 1-½ tablespoons of ghee. Do NOT burn the ghee as it browns very fast like butter. Add the ginger, garlic, the chopped onion and all the spices except the salt. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and lentils. The ghee and oil should coat each grain. Add the water and stir constantly. Add cilantro, bring to a boil without covering then lower to medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add the lime juice, salt, the fried onions and a pinch of sugar (if used). Place little mounds of ghee all over the rice. Seal the saucepan with aluminum foil and cover tightly with a lid. Steam should escape from the pan. Cook for another 30 minutes on low.

Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve with raita.

Bon appétit!



Indian cuisine often calls for ginger garlic paste. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean the ginger, carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife, then finely chop the root. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender, add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Ghee is the Indian version of clarified butter. You can find them in jars at the Indian store. But if you don't have ghee, you can add some butter instead to the rice.

Masoor dal (orange lentils) can be both found in any Asian or Indian stores.

Frying onions is easy. Chop the onion. Heat about 1 inch heigh of canola oil in a skillet. Fry the onion in the oil, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning until the color is evenly golden brown. Drain the oil on paper towels. I always have to make extra so that I can vacuum-seal and store in the freezer for future use. I place about one cup per bag. You can store them up to 3 months. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. I keep them exactly the same way I would do with my extra pesto or the (papaya) meat tenderizer for my poultry.

Kitcheri and Raita

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on July 18, 2009.


[-] Never seen this before - Guest-Jill
I've never seen this on the menu at Indian restaurants. Is it common?
[ Posted at 8:54 PM on 7/18/09 | Reply ]
[-] Kitcheri - Guest-Ann
Hey,your kitcheri looks too delicious..thats a healthy preparation for sure..

Ann Website Link
[ Posted at 9:48 PM on 7/18/09 | Reply ]
This looks really good! Sometimes I have a hard time finding whole cardamom pods and coriander seeds. Could I use ground spices or would that totally mess this up?

Karen Website Link
[ Posted at 8:41 AM on 7/19/09 | Reply ]
I don't know if I've had kitcheri specifically but already I love it!

Tangled Noodle Website Link
[ Posted at 8:42 PM on 7/22/09 | Reply ]
looks awesome my sis in law makes this well a lot of indians give this to babies

Great job


rebecca subbiah Website Link
[ Posted at 9:54 AM on 8/7/09 | Reply ]
[-] Kitcheri - shreya
I hope you donot mind the correction.
It is Khichdi.It is a combination of carbohydrates, protein and is also used a weaning food. I remember Khichdi more often as cooked when we were sick. It is easily digestible. Though I like Khichdi with yogurt (raita) and poppadoms (Indian Papad)
[ Posted at 2:13 PM on 10/2/09 | Reply ]
Baji (Lulu's grandma) probably pronounce it khichdi but I guess I'd hear kitcheri. I finally know the proper way to say it.
[ Posted at 11:33 AM on 11/19/09 | Reply ]
Hi Jacqueline:
Thanks for sharing this mouth watering recipe. I am Indian myself and was looking for the millionth variation of the khicchdi to inject some change and interest in the weekly staple....truly delicious!!!! The only change I made was substituting fennel seeds for black cardamom as I didn't have any left....still turned out lip-smacking!
Your blog/site has been written very interestingly and the recipes supported beautifully with luscious pics!
Great Work!
[ Posted at 10:41 AM on 11/19/09 | Reply ]
[-] Pukka Paki - Guest-SumayyaJamil
great to see a recipe of khithri! grew up eating this whenever i was not well! i must put my family version up too! good work love your blog x

Sumayya Jamil Website Link
[ Posted at 12:28 PM on 1/5/12 | Reply ]

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