08 April, 2013

Toor Dal Kichidi Recipe | How to Make Simple Kichidi

Learn how to make Toor Dal Kichidi ~ Mildly spiced split pigeon peas or tuvar/toor dal and mixed vegetable rice porridge, traditional dish from Gujarat

It feels like a long time since I got a chance to sit down in my favourite spot in our home to write a blog post. After a week long break at one of the most scenic places in the UK, the Lake District, we are back to the daily grind and routine. After waking up to songs of birds twittering in the morning breeze and sun shining brightly on clear blue skies for whole of a week, we found ourselves waking to the shrilling noise of alarm clock and tumbling down the bed still trying to rubbing away the slumber weighing heavy on our eyelids! For the little fella whose day started with jumping on the bed and ending with running around the holiday cottage in merry, Lil Dumpling cried when he realised that the merry days of doing what he pleased at what ever times he pleased were over! Ah… why do holidays have to come to an end?!

Toor Dal Kichidi with Achari Baingan

But… Yes, but this time for a change I am happy to get back to normal routine as our weeklong holiday turned out to be one of the holidays that we wished never happened! On our second day of our weeklong holiday, we found ourselves rushing to the A&E of the nearest hospital and within an hour Lil Dumpling was admitted to the children’s ward. With two convulsions and burning fever which refused to comedown and being in an unknown place were enough to test any parents’ sanity. If it were not for the most amazing staff members of the hospital, we would have definitely felt little lost in not to familiar place. Between wet strip of cloth on forehead, licking the ice lolly and warm cuddles, we made new friends with the hospital staff. When we left the hospital on next night, Lil Dumpling had few more admirers and well wishers who made him happy and loved! Kids do have these special things about them that makes even the strangers stop and smile before moving and Lil Dumpling inspite of his averseness to hospitals always leaves his tiny foot print in every person’s life who comes in contact with him. He is a special little boy who can easily charm even the most serious people he meets and leaves behind smile.

As Lil Dumpling slowly recovered from his illness with a help of medicines and played with his best friend, I found myself bedridden for the next few days of holiday. With a help of DH and our friends S & V, I didn’t need worrying about passing the infection to others and found myself dozing in between reading and just relaxing. Except for few long scenic drives around the holiday cottage, I concentrated on not tiring myself too much. So although we couldn’t do much of sight seeing or activities that we planned week ahead, I am just glad that we all drove back home with our health getting better. There is always next time when we can go back and do things that we wanted, but for now we are concentrating on getting back to our usual fit healthy status and what better food to nourish the body and soul than a bowl of comfort foods like Toor Dal Kichidi?!

Comfort in a bowl ~ Toor Dal Kichidi

Ever since Lil Dumpling started eating solids, which feels like ages ago, dal has been his most favourite food to eat. I make many versions of dals using different lentils and mix it with rice, ghee and some quick stir fried vegetables and Lil Dumpling would polish off the entire meal without any fuss. I prefer one pot meals when I am unwell and among the all Bisi Bele Bhath is my all time favourite one pot meals. Since I ran out of BBB spice powder, I decided to cook Toor Dal Kichidi instead and it turned out to be one the most satisfying meals. The fact that Lil Dumpling enjoyed it equally makes this recipe bloggable for posterity.

The flavours in this Toor Dal Kichidi is mild with just enough heat from chillies and ginger which will not burn your little one’s mouth. Feel free to add more green chillies if you prefer spicy food. The aroma of whole spices comes through with every spoonful of this divine food making your body warm with the comfort it provides. Whenever I cook one pot meals or rice dishes, I like to add bit of vegetables. They not only make the rice dish look colourful and flavourful, but also provide much needed nutrition. It’s up to you whether you want to include the vegetables or not. So feel free to add more or completely omit the vegetables. Toor Dal Kichidi doesn’t take more than half an hour when cooked in a pressure cooker. But if you don’t own one, use large heavy bottomed pan with lid and follow the cooking instruction given in the recipe section.

Dig in ~ Toor Dal Kichidi

Kichidi is what I usually cook when we are on vacation and your body craves from some home food after eating out for most part of the break. I usually carry my trusted pressure cooker and cooking Toor Dal Kichidi is a simple task with it. I throw in all the ingredients and pour in water and let the pressure cooker do most of the work while I relax with a book and glass of chilled wine. When it is ready to serve, I make sure that I serve it with one of Kichidi’s best friend accompanying it. That is papad, ghee, yogurt or pickle as the saying goes ~ Kichidi ke chaar yaar – papad, ghee, dahi aur achaar! :) Last time I made this delicious Toor Dal Kichidi, I had mine with spicy Achari Baingan :)

Ingredients for Toor Dal Kichidi

Soaked rice and split pigeon peas

Toor Dal Kichidi

Toor Dal Kichidi (Mildly spiced split pigeon peas or tuvar/toor dal and mixed vegetable rice porridge, traditional dish from Gujarat)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25-45 mins (Varies from pressure cooking to stove top method)
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low
Serves: 4-6 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for 2-3 days
Serving suggestion: With pickle, papad, desi ghee or yogurt/raita or any spicy curry of your choice

1½ cups Rice (I have used Basmati rice)
¾ cup Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Peas
1-1½ heaped cup fresh/frozen Mixed Vegetable (I have used carrots, peas, sweet corn and French beans)
¼ cup Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped (Optional)
1-3 Green Chillies, slit (Adjust as per taste)
1 inch Ginger, peeled and crushed to paste
Salt to taste

Spices Used:
1 inch Cinnamon
3 Green Cardamom, lightly bruised
3 Cloves
1 tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1 heaped tsp Dhania/Coriander Powder (Optional)

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 Dry Red Chilli, halved
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida Powder
1-2 tbsp Oil or Ghee
One pot meal ~ Toor Dal Kichidi

  1. Rinse rice and toor dal 3-4 times and soak it in water for 15 minutes or until you prepare all the ingredients for the Kichidi.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker or in a heavy bottomed pan with a vessel and add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
  3. Let the whole spices fry for couple of seconds to infuse their flavour into the oil and then add mustard seeds to it.
  4. When mustard seeds start to pop and splutter, add cumin seeds, dry red chilli and hing and fry them for couple of seconds till the cumin seeds change it’s colour to deep brown.
  5. Drain all the water and add rice and toor dal to the pressure cooker along with turmeric powder and coriander powder. Fry this mixture for a minute or two.
  6. Mix in mixed vegetables, green chillies, crushed ginger and salt to taste and add about 8 cups of boiling water. Cover the lid of a pressure cooker and put the weight on. Let it cook on medium flame for 25-30 minutes or for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure cooker rest for 5 minutes or releases its pressure completely before opening the lid.
  7. If using thick bottomed pan, add about 6 cups of water to start with and let it cook covered undisturbed for 15-18 minutes on medium flame. Add another 2-3 cups of water as and when needed and let it cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the rice and dal becomes mushy.
  8. Last add finely chopped coriander leaves if using and mix them well. Serve this delicious and comforting bowl of Toor Dal Kichidi with its 4 best friends, yogurt/raita, papad, ghee and pickle or with any spicy Indian curry of your choice.
Toor Dal Kichidi

Sia’s Notes:
  • If using thick bottomed pan, add about 6 cups of water to start with and let it cook covered undisturbed for 15-18 minutes on medium flame. Add another 2-3 cups of water as and when needed and let it cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the rice and dal becomes mushy.
  • When it is ready to serve, make sure that you have one of Kichidi’s best friend accompanying it. That is papad, ghee, yogurt or pickle as the saying goes ~ Kichidi ke chaar yaar – papad, ghee, dahi aur achaar! :)


  1. This dish looks delicious and comforting! What a great combination (split peas and rice).



  2. Dear Sia,
    I have just started following your blog ...... not sure how and why I missed this beautiful space for soo long ........ Khichdi is one of my fav dishes. I can never get bored of khichdi. And I am sure you must have heard for the zillionth time from fellow bloggers that you take beautiful photos too.

  3. hey Sia..visiting your blog for the first time..like the place..by the way khichadi looks so comforting..one of my favorite foods especially when I am under the weather..superb.

  4. Lovely! I really enjoy this simple kichdi!

  5. only u can make a khichdi look so good sia! salute as always!

  6. Sia, this looks so comforting and delicious. Cant wait to try it out.

  7. My fav comfort food too, along with the "chaar yaar"! Love the delicious pictures!

  8. I made this tonight and it is absolutely delicious. Thank you.

  9. @Lavanya, happy to know u enjoyed it :)

  10. Sia I loved the kichdi recipe and the snapshots.
    Loved the pairing with Achari Baingan too.

  11. Hii Sia, Simply delicious...have to try it! As always love your images! :)


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