Khichdi is a fortifying, easily digestible dish made from mung beans, rice, and a wide variety of spices. It is a staple of meals at Thikse Monastery in Ladakh, India, and reflects the Thikse monks’ belief that food should be consumed not only to quell hunger but also to contribute to optimal health. Cortney Burns, who spent time at the monastery learning from the monks, uses a warming spice mixture including fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, and ginger to perfume this soothing, comforting porridge.

Cortney Burns
January 2021

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Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary test

prep:
30 mins
total:
40 mins
Yield:
6 to 8
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place mung beans and rice in a fine wire-mesh strainer; rinse under cold water, stirring with your hands, until water runs clear, about 3 minutes. 

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  • Place cinnamon stick, whole cloves, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, turmeric, fennel seeds, fenugreek, and cayenne in a large heavy-bottomed pot or a medium Dutch oven. Heat over medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add mung bean mixture; stir to coat in spices. Add 6 1/2 cups water, bay leaves, and salt. 

  • Bring mixture to a vigorous simmer over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring and running spoon along bottom of pot occasionally, until mung bean mixture is tender but rice still holds it shape, 12 to 15 minutes. (Mixture will be slightly runny, but it will thicken as it sits.) Remove from heat. Remove and discard cinnamon, whole cloves, and bay leaves. Gently stir in salt to taste. Divide evenly among bowls; dollop with yogurt, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Make Ahead

Khichdi can be made up to 1 day ahead.

Notes

Find split yellow mung beans at Indian grocery stores or online.

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