Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on June 21, 2012

There are some recipes that are just straight up comfort food.

They invoke emotions of nostalgia, memories of home, and flavors that just take you back to when you were a kid and you could smell dinner cooking in the kitchen.

When I was a kid, we ate Indian food most evenings for dinner at my house. But my parents liked to mix it up and put twists on traditional Indian dishes (e.g. instead of making the traditional Cauliflower Sabji, they’d make one from Butternut Squash or Bok Choy). On an evening when there wasn’t much time to cook, or when we just wanted a light dinner, my mom would make Khichdi.

And recently, when I stayed at my dads a few weeks ago while the husband was traveling through India, my dad made Khichdi for me.

What is Khichdi? It sounds like a weird word doesn’t it? But it’s actually just an Indian Spiced Rice with Lentils and Vegetables. Kind of like a Faux-Fried version of traditional Asian Fried Rice.

It’s a simple and easy dish that you can literally make in one pot. And of course, it’s amazingly good for you. It’s balanced and light, and is supposed to be detoxifying and cleansing.

And in true form, my parents made Khichadi with a mix of basmati rice and quinoa, and added vegetables like asparagus, green beans, zucchini, and carrots. The texture of the quinoa + rice + lentils gives you the feeling of a fried rice dish, without the added fat and calories. And as an added bonus, you get to experiment with fun Indian spices like Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander in this recipes as well.

I hope you try it at home, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

The Ingredients 

Serves 2

  • 4 Tbsp Basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp Moong dal (lentils)
  • 1 Tbsp quinoa
  • Vegetables: 1 zucchini, diced; 1 carrot, diced; 1 lb asparagus, diced  (Note – you can also try this with Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc – anything you like will work!)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsp Khichdi masala (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • Cilantro, chopped – garnish
  • Optional: onion, garlic, ginger (to taste – I’d use a couple cloves of garlic, 1-2 tsp grated ginger and 1/4 onion for this amount)

Note: if you want to make your own Khichdi Masala from scratch – here are the proportions/ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fennel
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
Optional: Serve with 0% unsweetened Greek Yogurt
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The Directions
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Step 1: Wash the mixture of rice, moong dal (lentils) and quinoa until all the sediment is gone and the water runs clear.
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Step 2: Chop your veggies. Combine all the ingredients (grains + lentils + vegetables) in a large pot, add the masala. Note: If you want to add the onion / garlic / ginger, saute it in olive oil first and then add it to the pot.
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Step 3: Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for 20-30 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
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I love how it looks when it’s almost ready to eat! Sometimes the rice gets a little browned on the bottom of the pot, which I don’t mind at all because I like it a little crispy.
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Step 4: Garnish with cilantro, serve with yogurt if you like!
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This is great as a light meal, or even as a side dish to serve with other vegetable dishes, and a great Indian spiced lentil soup if you want a bigger dinner. It’s also gluten-free, and can be made vegan if you just omit the yogurt.
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Any way you make it, it won’t disappoint you, and is super easy to make for any first-time cooks out there!
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Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Calories per serving: 243

Fat per serving: 8.9g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 243 Calories, 8.9g Fat, 35.8mg Sodium, 34.5g Carbs, 6.9g Fiber, 1.7g Sugar, 10.3g Protein

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp Basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp Moong dal (lentils)
  • 1 Tbsp quinoa
  • Vegetables: 1 zucchini, diced; 1 carrot, diced; 1 lb asparagus, diced (Note – you can also try this with Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc – anything you like will work!)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsp Khichdi masala (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • Cilantro, chopped – garnish
  • Optional: onion, garlic, ginger (to taste – I’d use a couple cloves of garlic, 1-2 tsp grated ginger and 1/4 onion for this amount)
  • Optional: Serve with 0% unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Directions

  1. Wash the mixture of rice, moong dal (lentils) and quinoa until all the sediment is gone and the water runs clear
  2. Chop your veggies. Combine all the ingredients (grains + lentils + vegetables) in a large pot, add the masala. Note: If you want to add the onion / garlic / ginger, saute it in olive oil first and then add it to the pot.
  3. Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for 20-30 minutes until all the water has been absorbed
  4. Garnish with cilantro, serve with yogurt if you like!

Notes

Note: if you want to make your own Khichdi Masala from scratch – here are the proportions/ingredients:

1 Tbsp turmeric, 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp fennel, 1 Tbsp mustard seed, 1 Tbsp coriander, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne

http://pickyeaterblog.com/indian-spiced-faux-fried-rice-or-khichdi/

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzi June 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

Lots of healthy veggies in this very pleasing dish. It looks tasty.

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Thanks Suzi! Let me know how it turns out!

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Peter @Feed Your Soul June 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

looks delicious. throw in indian spices and it tastes wonderful and is a great twist of cultures.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Peter!

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lynn @ the actor's diet June 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm

khichdi sounds wonderful! it has been too long since i’ve had indian food – “faux” or not!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Thanks so much Lynn! I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe!

Reply

Mina Joshi June 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

Khichedi with vegetables added sounds so delicious. I was going to make khichedi tonight so will try adding the vegetables to it. It’s lovely to see this explained in detail with lots of pictures. Thank you.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Mina! Yes – I like the addition of veggies too – it makes it a really well-rounded one-pot meal 🙂 Hope you like it!

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Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings June 22, 2012 at 5:34 am

Looks delicious! We just picked up a bushel of veggies from our CSA, and this would be a great dish to make! Thanks 🙂

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Oh awesome! Definitely let me know which veggies you end up adding into the recipe! Pretty much any vegetable will taste great in it 🙂

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Kate June 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I love Indian food but find that the meals are often very creamy therefore high in fat. These look good though! Can’t wait to make it.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

That is so true Kate! Indian food at restaurants is often really high fat due to the butter and cream that’s used in almost every dish. But my Indian recipes are much much lighter, but have the same great Indian flavor that restaurant dishes have! I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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benita michelle wheeler June 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm

thank you for the inspiration..

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater July 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Anytime Benita!

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Sonali December 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm

SO delicious and healthy, thank you! 😀

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater December 29, 2014 at 1:06 pm

No problem at all! So glad you liked it!

Reply

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