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Chane Ki Dal ki Khichdi

A wholesome pantry meal of Khichdi made with Chana dal, rice and basic spices and aromatics
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chana Dal Khichdi, Khichdi, Khichri
Servings: 4 people
Author: Sakshi Kapoor

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chana Dal Split Chickpea Dal
  • 1 cup Rice I used Basmati
  • 2 and 1/2 cup Filtered Water See recipe notes
  • 1 Large red onion
  • 2 inch piece Ginger julienned
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 pod Cardamom Optional
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder Optional
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder Optional
  • 1/4 tsp Whole Black Pepper
  • 1-2 Cloves Optional
  • 1 Bay Leaf Optional
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder

Instructions

  • Start by measuring the Chana dal and rice. Add both to a shallow bowl and rinse and drain with water for a 3–4 times, or till the water is somewhat clearer. Let the dal and rice soak for at least half an hour.
  • While the dal and rice soak, peel the red onion and slice. For the ginger too, peel and slice into small batons or if you are proficient with the knife, julienne them. You could just chop the ginger finely but the cooked long ginger strands look beautiful and are great to bite into.
  • Gather the whole spices you are using. Place a pressure cooker on medium heat. Once hot, add the ghee and let it heat for a few seconds. Next, add in the whole spices – jeera, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf, if using and wait for them to splutter and bloom.
  • Once that is done, add the ginger and stir to cook for not more than a minute. Tip in the sliced onions next and stir to cook till they are translucent.
  • Once the onions look somewhat translucent, add in only the soaked rice and chana dal, using a slotted spoon or your hands. Add in most of the dal and rice and mix gently with the onions. Reserve the water. Add salt, Kashmiri red chilli powder and turmeric, if using. Cook this khichdi mixture without the water for around 2-3 minutes. Then pour in the measure water that was used for soaking.
  • Sprinkle in garam masala and shut the pressure cooker. Cook only till the cooker starts gently whistling. Once the cooker starts whistling, take off from heat and let the pressure release on its own.
  • Once the pressure releases, carefully open the pressure cooker to reveal the Chane ki dal ki khichdi. Fluff up the cooked khichdi by gently using a flat spatula or a fork.
  • Plate the Chane ki Dal ki Khichdi with homemade yogurt and Mango choondo to enjoy a comforting yet simple meal.

Notes

Soaking – Since this is not a recipe of a Khichdi with a porridge like consistency, I make sure to soak the dal and rice at least 30 minutes before cooking. If you were to cook this Khichdi for an extra whistle or two with more water, the rice would be a complete mush, unless you are into that sort of consistency. And if you cook for longer without adding extra water, then you risk burning the bottom layer. If you cook this khichdi for just 1 whistle without the pre-soak of chana dal, the chana dal will have a slight bite to it. A uncooked dal in khichdi is definitely not favourable. So, the case for soaking the dal is stronger.
Proportion – You can vary the proportion of chana dal to rice according to your preference. If you are using more dal than rice, add in extra 1/2 to 1/4 cup of water. 
How much water do you need to cook rice in a pressure cooker? – Ideally, for every cup of rice, you need 1 plus a little more, maybe 1/4 cups of water. I usually do not measure water like that, instead just measure water using my index finger – when the water reaches till the first knuckle from the layer or rice, usually that is enough for cooking in a pressure cooker. I then cook the rice till the pressure cooker just starts whistling. This measure makes fluffy rice. For mushy consistency of Khichdi, add at least 4 times water and cook for just one whistle.