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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”

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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) – it can also be spelled “Khichadi Masala”
  • 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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Print Recipe
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Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi”

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.
Prep Time1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 243kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp Basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp Moong dal lentils
  • 1 Tbsp quinoa
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 lb asparagus diced
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 heaping tsp Khichdi masala or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin 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

Instructions

  • Wash the mixture of rice, moong dal (lentils) and quinoa until all the sediment is gone and the water runs clear
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.5g | Protein: 10.3g | Fat: 8.9g | Sodium: 35.8mg | Fiber: 6.9g | Sugar: 1.7g

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18 responses to “Indian Spiced Faux-Fried Rice, or “Khichdi””

  1. The link you provided does not lead me to the Khichdi Masala. I searched it manually too and it doesn’t come up. Are you sure it is called that or is it Kitchari Spice Mix? I would love to make your recipe but I want to get the spices right. Thank you.

    • Hi Linda! So sorry about that! I have updated the post — and it is actually still called Khichdi Masala or “Khichadi Masala,” but I’m sure Kitchari Spice Mix would work too! Or you could make your own spice mix (just follow the directions in the post). Let me know if you have any other questions! Hope you love this recipe!

  2. 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.

    • 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!

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

  3. 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.

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

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

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