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.

Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 ¼ cups dried split yellow mung beans (such as Pride of India)

  • ¾ cup uncooked white basmati rice 

  • ½ cinnamon stick (about 1 1/2 inch)

  • 6 whole cloves 

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin 

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 

  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds 

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

  • ½ teaspoon  ground fenugreek seeds

  • Generous pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 6 ½ cups water

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • Pinch of kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • Whole-milk yogurt and fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


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

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