Dal Khichdi with Aloo Bhaja

Dal khichdi is a wholesome Indian pot meal that has various versions from different parts of the country. It is comfort food in a bowl, packed with humble ingredients and their robust flavours. The addition of Bengali style crispy potatoes is, quite simply, delicious. It literally brings me home.


  • 2 Cups Lentils (any dal)
  • 1 Cup Rice
  • 2 Potatoes (aloo)
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 Small Green Chili (capsicum)
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 4-5 Peppercorns
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder (mirchi)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder (haldi)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin (jeera)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ghee (for topping)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ghee or Olive Oil (for cooking & sautéing)
  • 3 Teaspoons Mustard Oil (for cooking)
  • 5 ½ Cups Water (same cup used to measure rice & lentils)


Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes

  1. For the khichdi – Thoroughly wash the lentils and rice. Then soak them in water.
  2. Finely chop garlic, green chili, onions and tomatoes. Dice the potatoes to medium size.
  3. In a rice cooker, hot pot or pressure cooker, put rice and lentils and add 3/4th onions chopped long/thin, minced green chili, garlic pieces, 4 peppercorns, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander leaves, 1 bay leaf and let is cook. (normal lentil/rice cooking time if cooked in a hot pot and if you’re using a pressure cooker you can go to 2 whistles and let is sit for 15 minutes).
  4. On a separate pan, fry onions in ghee with half a spoon of ginger/garlic paste until the onions go brown.
  5. Once the rice and lentils are cooked, add the fried onions dripping with ghee in the pot and stir. Then put the lid on and let it sit for 15 minutes more. Dal Khichdi is ready!
  6. For the Aloo Bhaja – Heat 2-3 teaspoons of mustard oil in a pan for 2-3 minutes on full flame.
  7. Add cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon garam masala and salt to taste.
  8. Throw the diced potatoes and stir for 30 seconds for the spice and the oil to coat the potatoes completely and reduce the flame to 1/3 and let the potato cook with the lid shut for 5-8 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid, increase the heat and stir rapidly for 30 seconds and then again let is sit for a minute on low heat.
  10. Once the potatoes turn brown, it’s ready to eat but if you like it crispier, fry it for a few more minutes.
  11. Serve one bowl of dal khichdi (garnished with coriander a tiny bit of melted ghee for presentation) with 1 cup worth alu bhaja.
  12. For Serving – In a bowl add khichdi and garnish it with fresh coriander and squeeze half a lemon.
  13. Garnish it further with crispy fried Bong aloo bhaja (Every bite of the Khichdi must be accompanied by 2-3 diced fried potatoes).
  14. You can add 1-2 more vegetables of your choice to the khichdi – like peas, spinach, carrots etc. Khichdi is best enjoyed with a teaspoon of ghee.