Vegetable Masala Khichdi is a one-pot dish made using lentils, rice, spices, and vegetables. Make it in an instant pot or a traditional stovetop pressure cooker using my easy recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free).
About Vegetable Masala Khichdi
Vegetable Masala Khichdi (pronounced khich-dee) is a healthy and hearty Indian dish that is perfect to serve for lunch or dinner. It is a savory porridge made using rice lentils, veggies, and a few spices.
This popular one-pot meal is the ultimate comfort food for a lot of Indians and is made all across India.
Khichdi is made in different ways in Indian homes and while plain khichdi and vaghareli khichdi are my all-time favorite, this masala khichdi also tops the chart with its incredible flavors.
This one-pot dish is made with lentils, rice, basic spices, and vegetables, and is best served with a dollop of ghee, green chutney, yogurt, and papad (poppadum). It is also a great dish to eat if you are on a gluten-free diet.
Masala khichdi recipe can be made in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker or in an instant pot. I am sharing both methods in the post below.
This recipe can be easily scaled. I used my 6-quart instant pot to make masala khichdi for 4 people. If you are doubling the recipe, then use an 8-quart instant pot. The time of cooking will not change.
Health Benefits Of Khichdi
Masala Khichdi is high in protein and fiber and low in fat. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
It is actually a complete meal in itself with carbs from the rice, protein from lentils, minerals & vitamins from the veggies, and fat from the ghee.
Khichdi is rich in dietary fiber which helps to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Dietary fiber also helps to lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels.
Khichdi is also a good source of iron and folic acid. Folic acid is important for the development of the neural tube in a developing baby and Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
Rice – Ideally, any short-grain sticky white rice is best to make khichdi. However, feel free to use any white rice that is easily available to you.
My preferred choices are Indrayani rice and jasmine rice.
Broken basmati rice, Sona Masuri rice, or Ambemohar rice also works well.
Lentils – I used split green gram lentils (green moong dal) to make this khichdi but you can use split and skinned green gram lentils (yellow moong dal), pigeon peas lentils (toor dal), Bengal gram (chana dal) or pink lentils (dhuli masoor dal) to make it.
Whole Spices – You will need Indian spices like cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini), black peppercorns (kali mirch), and cumin seeds (jeera).
Veggies – I added onions, green chillies, potatoes, green peas, and carrots to this recipe but you can add vegetables of your choice like green french beans, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, etc.
Adjust the green chilies as per your taste.
Spice Powders – This recipe uses basic spice powders like coriander powder, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chilli powder.
Others – You will also need ghee, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, salt, and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).
To make it vegan, replace ghee with vegetable oil, olive oil, or coconut oil.
You can also add mustard seeds and curry leaves along with whole spices. Other spice powders like garam masala powder, cumin powder, and black pepper powder can also be added.
Add ½ cup of chopped tomatoes (or ½ cup of pureed tomatoes) to this vegetable khichdi recipe for a taste change.
How To Make Vegetable Masala Khichdi
In An Instant Pot
Add ½ cup white rice and ½ cup green moong dal to a medium-sized bowl. Rinse them 2-3 times with water until the water runs clear.
Soak the washed rice and lentils in 3 cups of water for 20 minutes.
Press SAUTE button on the instant pot.
Add 2 tablespoon ghee to the pot.
Once the ghee is hot, add
- 2 cloves
- 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add ½ cup thinly sliced onions and 2 green chilies (slit into half) to the pot and cook until the onions turn slightly browned (4-5 minutes), stirring at regular intervals.
Once the onions are browned, add 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
Add ½ cup peeled and cubed potatoes, ½ cup green peas, and ½ cup peeled and cubed carrots, and cook for a minute.
Now add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook for a minute.
Drain the water from the rice and lentils and add them to the instant pot along with 3 cups of water, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and stir gently.
Close the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press CANCEL and then PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 12 minutes at high pressure.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot.
Stir the khichdi with a large spoon.
If the khichdi is thick, add some boiling hot water and adjust its consistency. The consistency of khichdi should be like porridge.
Check for salt and add more if needed.
Garnish the ready masala khichdi with fresh cilantro and serve hot with a dollop of ghee, plain yogurt, papad, and green chutney.
In A Traditional Pressure Cooker
To make masala khichdi in a pressure cooker, add the spices, moong dal, rice, vegetables, and spices to the pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water and stir gently. Pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 12 minutes. Remove the cooker from the heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and stir well. Serve hot with ghee, green chutney, yogurt, and papad (poppadum).
Frequently Asked Questions
To make this dish vegan, simply omit the ghee and use oil instead. Serve it with vegan yogurt.
Yes, you can. To make the khichdi with brown rice add one more cup of water and pressure cook at high pressure in the IP for 20 minutes.
In a traditional pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
Pro Tips By Neha
You can use a mix of moong dal and toor dal (arhar dal) to make this recipe.
Adjust the green chilies according to your spice preference.
If you want a more soupy consistency, add more water while cooking.
For a richer flavor, you can also add 1-2 tablespoons of extra ghee while cooking.
You can also use vegetable stock in place of water for an even tastier khichdi.
You can replace white rice with brown rice, quinoa, or couscous to make this recipe healthier but the time of cooking and water quantity will change in these cases.
Serve vegetable masala khichdi with a drizzle of ghee, Green Chutney, yogurt (plain curd, dahi), and papad (poppadum).
You can also serve it with pickles or achar (Indian pickled vegetables). Here are some of the pickle recipes that I like to serve with it – Red Chili Pickle, Green Chili Pickle, Rajasthani Mango Pickle, or Hing Ka Achar.
Leftover khichdi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.
To reheat, thaw the frozen khichdi overnight in the refrigerator and then heat it in a pan on the stovetop.
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Vegetable Masala Khichdi Recipe
- ½ cup uncooked white rice (preferably short-grain sticky rice)
- ½ cup split green gram lentils (green moong dal)
- 2 tablespoons ghee (use oil for vegan)
- 2 cloves (laung)
- 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 4 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ½ cup thinly sliced onions
- 2 green chilies (slit into half)
- 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
- ½ cup peeled and cubed potatoes (½-inch cubes)
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup peeled and cubed carrots (½-inch cubes)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
- Add rice and moong dal to a medium-sized bowl. Rinse them 2-3 times with water until the water runs clear.
- Soak the washed rice and lentils in 3 cups of water for 20 minutes.
- Press SAUTE button of the instant pot.
- Add ghee to the pot.
- Once the ghee is hot, add cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and cumin seeds, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Add onions and green chilies to the pot and cook until the onions turn slightly browned (4-5 minutes), stirring at regular intervals.
- Once the onions are browned, add ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
- Add potatoes, peas, and carrots, and cook for a minute.
- Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt, and cook for a minute.
- Drain the water from the rice and lentils and add them to the instant pot along with 3 cups of water, lime juice, and cilantro, and stir gently.
- Close the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
- Press CANCEL and then PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 12 minutes at high pressure.
- Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot.
- Stir the khichdi with a large spoon.
- If the khichdi is thick, add some boiling hot water and adjust its consistency. The consistency of khichdi should be like porridge.
- Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Garnish the ready masala khichdi with fresh cilantro and serve hot with ghe, yogurt, papad, and green chutney.