Carrot Khichdi
120 Min

Carrot Khichdi

From Diwali this week to Christmas all the way through the end of the year, the holidays have arrived. And despite our valiant efforts, at some point or another feelings of stress will descend on us. Which is exactly why we should take solace in simple, nourishing comfort foods. And there may be no better way to end any long day than with a steaming bowl of khichdi with freshly sautéed greens and a generous drizzle of ghee.

Unofficially designated as the national dish of India, khichdi, also known as khichri, is a simple peasant stew. It can be fed to babies first eating solid food; to normal folks with upset stomachs (it’s great for a hangover!); or to older people with delicate digestive systems. Eaten by rich and poor alike, it is usually made with rice and lentils cooked long and slow. Turmeric and ginger are common ingredients. Fragrant or pungent spices maybe added for flavor, and you can also incorporate everything from the humble carrot to luxurious lobster meat. With innumerable iterations, khichdi is what I crave the most after returning from a vacation. It takes little effort to prepare, and its fragrant aroma wafting through the air is the perfect welcome home. Here is a simple version to try, with carrots adding a pleasant sweetness against the savory stew.

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Cook Time

120 Minutes



Step 1
Rinse the basmati rice and lentils in cold water twice. Drain. In a large stockpot, combine with 6 cups of water, the turmeric, cinnamon stick, black pepper and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil; do not cover. Within a few minutes, a scum may rise to the top — discard this debris from the lentils using a slotted spoon.
Step 2
Adjust the heat to its lowest setting and stir in the grated ginger and carrots. Cover the stockpot with its lid and let the khichdi cook for 45 minutes to an hour, checking and gently stirring every 10 minutes or so. Be careful because the water may overflow and make a mess on the stove.
Step 3
Once the lentils and rice are cooked through, add in 2 cups of water gradually, keeping the pot on low heat until the khichdi has a creamy consistency, another 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons of ghee just before serving.
Step 4
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and pop the cumin seeds. Immediately, add the greens and cook just until they are wilted. Top each bowl of khichdi with the sautéed greens and chopped pistachios.
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/3 cup yellow moong lentils
8 cups water
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 to 4 cups grated carrots (approximately 2 large carrots)
5 tablespoons ghee, divided
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cups of greens (such as spinach, arugula, kale, chard, or mustard greens)
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Notes & Variations

  • Any fragrant herb can be used to infuse the khichdi: basil, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, or thyme all work well. Add them in at the end.
  • Replace the rice with barley, oats, quinoa, or cracked wheat.
  • To amp this khichdi up, add one sliced serrano chile and a cup of fresh minced tomatoes toward the end. Or add a fried egg on top.
  • Instead of ghee, use olive or coconut oil.
120 Min

Stock Your Pantry

Hurry home, mom said it's carrot night!

Here are some fun ways to incorporate carrots into every dish at your dinner table.