Kichri With Massour Dal Recipe (2024)

By David Tanis

Kichri With Massour Dal Recipe (1)

Total Time
45 minutes, plus 1 hour’s soaking
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Kichri, a traditional Indian dish, is a delightful savory combination of dal and basmati rice cooked together. Lots of other cultures serve something similar: rice and pigeon peas throughout the Caribbean, or rice and brown lentils in many Middle Eastern countries. It can be served alone, with a dollop of yogurt, for breakfast or lunch, or as a side dish with grilled or roasted meats. Some cooks add more liquid for a kichri that is more on the soupy side. Sizzling the spices in ghee makes the kichri quite aromatic.

Featured in: The How and Why of Dal

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Yield:6 to 8 servings

  • 1cup massour dal (split red lentils)
  • 2cups basmati rice
  • 2tablespoons ghee
  • 3small hot green chiles, split lengthwise
  • ½teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4cardamom pods
  • 12-inch stick cinnamon
  • 6cloves
  • 6black peppercorns
  • 1small onion, diced fine
  • ½teaspoon turmeric
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 2cups plain yogurt (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

331 calories; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 58 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 4 grams sugars; 12 grams protein; 325 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Kichri With Massour Dal Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Pick over lentils, then combine with rice in a medium mixing bowl. Add cold water and rinse several times, draining with a fine sieve, until water runs clear. Cover with cold water and soak for 1 hour, then drain well.

  2. Step


    Heat ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chiles, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Let sizzle briefly until cumin seeds begin to brown. Add onion, stir to coat and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

  3. Step


    Add lentil-rice mixture, turmeric, salt and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, then let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff mixture before serving. Accompany with plain yogurt if you wish.



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Cooking Notes


I make this recipe every week and keep it in the fridge to use as side dishes with everything. It is a lot of food, and makes easily 8 servings. It is not a soupy dal, but rather thick and pasty as the recipe explains. It might be helpful to note that the photo here is of the lentils and rice before being cooked in the turmeric colored cooking liquid. The dish does not end up looking like that.


I made this with brown rice, which I soaked on its own for about 20 minutes while prepping other ingredients, then simmered for 15 minutes before adding dal (rinsed, not soaked). I mixed in peeled, cubed sweet potato and delicata squash at the same time as dal. The result was fantastic. In addition to rounding out the meal, the addition of the vegetables gave the dish a mild sweetness that played with the other flavors quite nicely.

Upstairs Woman

I agree - was taught to make khichuri by my Indian inlaws using equal quantities of masoor dal and basmati rice.


I made with white basmati and it seems like the rice overwhelms the dal. Wondering if 2 c rice is a typo. Plus, my dish looked more like just rice with a few lentils compared to the photo that looks like there is a lot more dal.


I use moong dal (split, without the husk) for khichri in a one to one ratio with rice. It's great with a quick tomato chutney and cucumber raita. For chick=peas, I pop cinnamon stick, whole peppercorns, cloves, black cardamom and cumin seed in ghee, followed by chopped onion and ginger, green chili, then turmeric and coriander powder, before adding the soaked and washed chickpeas to cook in salted water.

Ali W.

I used brown basmati rice and it needed to simmer a longer by 20 minutes. With the longer simmer the lentils broke down more, but I didn't mind the thicker consistency. The spices were great, and I really enjoy this recipe, I will use white basmati next time for the intended texture.


Used brown rice, reduced to 1 cup. Soaked separately from lentils; noting the longer cooking time cited by Ali W., I cooked rice for 15 min., then added lentils and cooked another 15 min. Flavor is good, but dish was very thick--like porridge. I wonder if soaking lentils is necessary; they cook quickly, and no other recipe I've made calls for presoaking. I think they'd keep their shape better without bothering. (Would still soak the rice, to shorten cooking time overall.)


The first spice I added to the ghee was 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds, which I let pop (almost like popcorn, but with some sizzle), before adding the remainder of the spices. Delish.


Agree that the dal was too thick for my taste. Next time I’ll use less rice and probably not presoak the lentils. I cooked up some crispy mushrooms and added them when cooking the rice/lentils. Added cilantro and chopped jalapeños as well as topped with salted peanuts.

Rachael F.

Can anyone tell me if this is a very standard, classic combo of spices? I ask because I threw together my usual ‘dal’ this morning, contents based on a fuzzy memory of a tadka dal recipe I can’t find anymore— I fry spices onion in ghee and stick them in a crock pot with lentils, turmeric, water. Then I thought, ‘maybe I should go look at some actual dal recipes for a change.’ These ingredients are literally identical! Is this akin to ‘parsley sage rosemary and thyme’ of basic Indian cooking?


After reading the comments I used 1:1 rice and lentils; started with sizzling mustard seeds, and otherwise followed recipe. Oh, except I added cucumbers and cumin to the yogurt. Even with the 1:1 ratio, it was far from soupy--a stiff porridge. Still, this was completely delicious and comforting--and beautiful when eaten with the raita and some lime pickle on the side.

anna b

Gosh I wish I had read the discussion about the rice to lentil ratio! I may be eating this for a month I did add cauliflower to the dish before the boil. I should have added less of that too... my entire Dutch oven is full!


I altered it like everyone seemed to be doing here and going equal quantities rice and lentils (used golden split lentils) and it turned out great! Didn't have cloves, so it was very strong in the cinnamon department, so I wish I'd had had cloves, but whole ones are hard to find currently. For future, I think I'll try what Soigne did and start with black mustard seeds!Very good...think when I heat up the leftovers might throw in some coconut milk to make it more liquidy......


Extremely disappointing. -pls change out picture to represent the actual dish.-added the additional cup of lentils to have what was suggested a better balanced dish. -added additional cup of water to compensate for additional lentils.-let sit 10min. after cooking, full on mush. -3 ppl ate it, but threw rest of it out.Boo.


Equal quantities dal and rice.Brown rice -- simmer longer.


I completed this recipe with one cup of brown rice instead of 2 and added in a block of frozen spinach while sautéeing the onion and it is pure comfort food. Will be making it again!


Added two cups of water, increased lentils, rounded up on eyeballing the spices, and ... so delicious

Batia Winer

Kichri is best made with Mung beans, preferably de-husked and split.


Use 1 cup rice to prevent too much. Tastes great!


I make this with 1-1 proportion of lentils and rice. That way it is tastier and also gives more protein. You can use grated (or finely minced) ginger and curry leaves instead of onions,cardamom,cinnamon and cloves and top cooked khichri with coriander leaves. You will experience a completely different flavor.I like this more with mung daal.


I make this many times! Aryuvedic benefits.


I made this with brown rice, which I soaked on its own for about 20 minutes while prepping other ingredients, then simmered for 15 minutes before adding dal (rinsed, not soaked). I mixed in peeled, cubed sweet potato and delicata squash at the same time as dal. The result was fantastic. In addition to rounding out the meal, the addition of the vegetables gave the dish a mild sweetness that played with the other flavors quite nicely.

P. Howard

Make the chapatis much larger, 8 instead of 16.

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Kichri With Massour Dal Recipe (2024)
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