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.