Kheema Ki Khichdi Recipe

Kheema Ki Khichdi. Image © 2006 Petrina Verma Sarkar licensed to About.com
  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (10)

Kheema ki khichdi ranks among India's most beloved comfort foods. You may recognize khichdi, also spelled khichadi or kitchari but pronounced kich-a-ree, as an Ayurvedic detox meal. Practitioners prescribe the combination of rice and beans cooked to an easily digestible mush as a nourishing but cleansing meal.

This version combines basmati rice and red lentils with ground meat and warming Indian spices. Kheema, for minced or ground meat, may also be spelled keema or qeema. You can find garam masala in many grocery stores or online. Serve kheema ki khichdi piping hot with raita, a yogurt-based condiment.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup saboot masoor daal (whole red lentils)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables of your choice
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, lamb, chicken)
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Put the rice in one bowl and the lentils in another, add water to both and rinse. Do this until the water runs clear. Add more water to cover and soak the rice and lentils for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or deep pan with a tight lid on medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they stop spluttering.
  3. Add the chopped onions and fry until transparent.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 1 minute. Add the remaining spices through garam masala and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  1. Add the tomatoes and cook until the oil begins to separate from the masala and the tomatoes turn pulpy.
  2. Add the ground meat and lentils. Cook until the meat turns evenly brown.
  3. Add the vegetables, rice, stock cubes and 4 cups of water. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer. Put the lid on and cook until the rice and lentils get really soft, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add more water as needed to keep the mixture thoroughly moist as it cooks.
  5. Once the rice and lentils get soft enough to mash, turn off the heat and allow the khichdi to rest without removing the lid for 10 minutes. Stir before serving. The khichdi should be moist and porridge-like in consistency.