This masala khichdi is an incredibly flavorful and hearty meal. It’s flavored with whole spices and spice powders and made with rice and toor dal (arhar dal or pegion peas). All the warm Indian spices will leave you craving for more!
Here I am sharing two methods: 1) traditional stove-top pressure cooker method 2) Instant pot khichdi.
It is soft, mushy and melt-in-your-mouth kind and topped with (optional but not-so-optional) ghee ~ clarified butter. Always remember ghee (clarified butter) is the essential ingredient while making any kind of dal khichdi.
This is one of the coziest meal recipes and ultimate comfort food with delicious homestyle flavor. I usually make it at least once a week as dinner. We love to pair it with Gujarati kadhi. This masala khichdi and kadhi combo is very light on the stomach and very easy to digest.
Plus, there is no much prep work involved here. Only chopping of onion is required. Altogether, it comes together in just 30 minutes.
If you are not familiar with the texture of masala khichdi (any khichdi in that matter) then let me explain you. The rice grains are not separated and firm like pulao, biryani. They should be overcooked and almost mushy.
The consistency of the khichdi depends on how you and your family prefer. Some like the porridge-like consistency (same as shown in instant pot khichdi method) while some like slightly solid (shown in regular stovetop method). Based on liking consistency, you may need to adjust the water amount.
How to make Masala Khichdi?
1) Wash dal and rice under running cold water till water runs clear.
2) Soak them in enough water for 10 minutes. Meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Now after soaking time, drain the dal-rice and discard the water.
3) Heat the oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds. Let them pop.
4) Then add cumin seeds, let them sizzle a bit.
5) Then add whole spices (cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick). Saute for 30-40 seconds or till you get the nice aroma of spices.
6) Then add ginger garlic paste
7) and saute for 30 seconds or till the raw smell of ginger-garlic goes away.
8) Then add chopped onion.
9) Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the onions get soft and translucent.
10) Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt
11) Mix well and cook for a minute.
12) Then add drained dal-rice mixture.
13) Mix well.
14) Add water.
13) Cover the cooker with lid, put the weight on. Cook for 3 whistles on medium-high heat. Then turn off the stove. Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.
14) Stir well before serving. As you stir, it will get mushy and soft.
Lastly, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves, remove it to a serving bowl, top with ghee (clarified butter) and serve. To get the best taste, masala khichdi must be served warm.
In below photo, masala khichdi is served as a meal with gujarati kadhi, pickled green chilies (rai kuria marcha) and roasted rice papad (khichiya papad).
How to make Instant Pot Masala Khichdi?
1) Wash the dal-rice mixture and soak for about 10 minutes (optional step). Meantime prep rest of the ingredients.
2) Start the instant pot with saute mode. Add oil and once it gets hot add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and whole spices. Saute for few seconds, then add chopped onion, ginger-garlic paste and cook till onions get soft.
3) Then add soaked, drained dal-rice, salt and spice powders. Mix and cook for 30 seconds.
4) Add water and stir. Turn off the saute mode.
5) Cover the instant pot with a lid, keep the valve position to sealing. Cook on manual (high pressure) for 9-10 minutes. Let it NPR. If in rush, let it NPR for 10 minutes then do QPR.
6) Now stir really well and it will be almost mushy and porridge-like consistency.
Garnish with cilantro and top with ghee, serve hot/warm.
BEST Masala Khichdi Recipe (w/ Instant Pot Option)
- ½ cup Short grain rice
- ½ cup Arhar dal (toor dal or split pigeon peas)
- 2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) or oil
- ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 2 Cloves
- ¼ inch Cinnamon stick
- 2-3 Black peppercorns
- 1 Dried red chilies
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste or freshly grated or crushed
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste or freshly grated
- 1 Green chili chopped finely
- ½ cup Red onion chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons Red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 ½ - 3 cups Water *Notes
- 1-2 tablespoons Cilantro or coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) To drizzle on top
- Wash dal and rice under running cold water till water runs clear.
- Soak them in enough water for 10 minutes. Meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- After soaking time, drain the dal-rice and discard the water.
Making masala khichdi recipe:
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat.
- Once hot add mustard seeds. Let them pop. Then add cumin seeds, let them sizzle a bit.
- Now add whole spices. Saute for 30-40 seconds.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the onions get soft and translucent.
- Then add spice powders and salt. Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Add drained dal-rice mixture and water, stir well.
- Cover the cooker with lid, put the weight on. Cook for 3 whistles on medium-high heat.
- Then turn off the stove. Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.
- Stir well before serving. As you stir, it will get mushy and soft.
- Lastly, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and top with ghee.
Making Masala Khichdi in Instant Pot:
- Follow the same steps as above with saute mode in instant pot.
- Then cook on manual (high pressure) for 9-10 minutes.
- Let it NPR (naturally release the pressure). If in rush then let it NPR for 10 minutes then fo QPR (quick pressure release).
- Top with ghee and garnish with cilantro an serve.
- To get the porridge-like consistency, add 3 cups of water. To get a slightly thick consistency, add 2 ½ cups of water.
- Water amount may vary slightly depending on what type of rice you are using. Different type of rice required a different amount of water to cook.
- Here I have used short-grain rice (krishna kamod). You can use jeerasar, seeraga samba, gujarat sattar (in short, use any short-grain rice).
- In the absence of other rice verities, you can use basmati rice. But it is not ideal verity of rice to make khichdi.