Palak Khichdi Recipe is a simple Indian Comfort Food recipe made with Masoor Dal or red lentils, rice and spinach or palak leaves. Easy One Pot Rice and Lentils Dish recipe that even a novice cook can ace in the kitchen.
In most Indian homes, when in need of quick comfort food, we resort to Khichdi. There are many benefits of cooking Khichdi at home but the primary reason is that it is super quick to make. The pressure cooker does the 95% of the work for you.
Khichdi primarily is rice and lentils combination but it can be made in a variety of ways. Today’s recipe, Palak Dal Khichdi, makes use of spinach puree thereby making the khichdi healthy and wholesome.
During winters, we absolutely love eating this for lunch or dinner. Spinach, being in season, is added to a ton of recipes, including this humble bowl of khichdi.
If you love Spinach or Palak like us, do try Keerai Molagootal (Palakkad Style Spinach lentil curry in coconut gravy), Takatli Palak Bhaji (Maharashtrian Style Spinach cooked in buttermilk) and Hara Bhara Kabab (Spinach and Potato Cutlets)
Another great reason why Khichdi is everyone’s go to option is that it needs bare minimum accompaniments or side dish.
There is a saying in Hindi – “Khichdi ke chaar yaar – Dahi, Papad, Ghee aur Achaar” which translates as Khichdi has 4 best friends or accompaniments – Curd, Papad, Ghee or clarified butter and pickles.
Try this combo, if you haven’t?
We make Khichdi when tired, sick, extremely hungry, running low on monthly grocery, dealing with empty refrigerator and /or missing home or parents. It is that warm hug in a bowl or that perfect “pick me up” food.
Khichdi is super healthy and especially the ones with vegetables that make it a filling meal. It basically has everything – carbs, protein, fat and vitamins (if adding vegetables or greens).
Let us take a look at how I make this palak khichdi at home.
Palak Khichdi Ingredients
Masoor Dal or Red Lentils – I love Khichdi with red lentils and they are lighter on the stomach as well. You can make this khichdi using yellow moong dal or toor dal as well. Soaking the lentils is a must for a good mushy (buttery) khichdi texture.
Brown Rice – Short Grain Brown Rice used for the recipe.
Ideally basmati rice or aromatic rice is used for cooking the khichdi but since its a weekly meal option for us, we prefer short grain and brown rice instead of white.
The added fibre helps in keeping our tummy full for longer.
You can use Basmati Rice, Ambe Mohar Rice (Aromatic Rice variety of Maharashtra), Kolam, Ponni (both short grain) variety of rice for this recipe.
If using Basmati Rice (white), I would advise cooking the rice on stove top separately. Just pressure cook the lentils and then add the ingredients together.
For other short grain rice variety mentioned, water quantity for pressure cooking can be 1 & 1/2 cups (if using white rice). Soaking time for the quantity mentioned can be around 15 to 20 minutes.
Since I have used Brown Rice, I have soaked the rice for 30 minutes along with the lentils.
For 1/2 cup (125 ml) Brown Rice and 1/2 cup lentils, I have added 2 cups of water while pressure cooking.
Palak Puree or Spinach Puree – I love using puree instead of finely chopping the greens and pressure cooking them along with the rice and lentils. I find the gorgeous green of the khichdi to be extremely appealing.
Another reason is that I have spinach puree always available in my freezer / refrigerator. I blanch, grind and store them in containers. I use it for khichdi, dal or kneading my chapati dough at home.
Don’t have spinach puree? Add 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped spinach to the recipe. Pressure cook it with rice and lentils and add 2 and 1/2 cups of water while pressure cooking.
Ghee – Khichdi should be cooked in ghee for best results. Absolutely satisfying experience especially when a dollop of ghee is added while serving the khichdi.
I have avoided the additional tempering on top as we wanted to keep it simple post festivities. You can add a tadka of ghee + cumin seeds + hing and a pinch of red chilli powder for that extra pizzaz!
Rest of the ingredients are covered in the recipe card below. Do go through the same.
Step-wise Recipe to cook Palak Khichdi at home
In a wide bowl, measure and add the brown rice and masoor dal.
Wash them a couple of times under running tap water, drain and soak them in 1 cup of water for atleast 30 minutes. (You can soak for 20 minutes if using white rice)
Drain the water, add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cover and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles (the rice and lentils should be well cooked / mushy)
Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp ghee, cumin seeds and once they brown / roast, add the garlic ginger paste. Saute for a few minutes.
Now add finely chopped onions, tomatoes and turmeric powder. Saute this for 5 minutes until there is no raw smell from onions or tomatoes.
Add the cooked rice + dal mixture
Also add the spinach puree.
Mix well, check for salt and add, if required. Adjust consistency according to your preference. Let the khichdi cook for a couple of minutes (do not cover) and then switch off the flame and serve with accompaniments of your choice.
- The leftovers of Palak Khichdi stays fresh in the refrigerator for couple of days. However, Khichdi tastes best when freshly made.
- If you are running short of time, you can cook the rice and dal and store in the refrigerator. The tempering can be added later.
- The palak khichdi recipe is Gluten free and for a vegan version, skip the ghee and add oil.
Some One pot rice recipes on the blog –
Rajma Rice or Rajma Pulao
Tondli Bhat (Maharashtrian Style Rice with Ivy Gourd)
Bisi Bele Bhat with Lapsi or Broken Wheat
Palak Khichdi Recipe | Brown Rice Spinach Dal Khichdi
- Pressure Cooker
1 cup is 250 ml, 1 tbsp is 15 ml and 1 tsp is 5 ml
- 1/2 cup Brown Rice
- 1/2 cup Masoor Dal or Red Lentils
- 1 cup Spinach Puree Check Notes
- 1/2 cup Onions (finely chopped) 1 medium size Onion used
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes (finely chopped) 2 small tomatoes used
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder or Haldi Powder
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
- 1 tsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds
- Salt to taste
- 3 1/2 cups Water to cook Check Notes for exact measurements
- In a wide bowl, measure and add the brown rice and masoor dal.
- Wash them a couple of times under running tap water, drain and soak them in 1 cup of water for atleast 30 minutes.
- Drain the water, add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cover and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
- Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp ghee, cumin seeds and once they brown / roast, add the garlic ginger paste. Saute for a few minutes.
- Now add finely chopped onions, tomatoes and turmeric powder. Saute this for 5 minutes until there is no raw smell from onions or tomatoes.
- Add the cooked rice and dal.
- Also add the spinach puree.
- Mix well, check for salt and add, if required. Adjust consistency according to your preference.
- Let the khichdi cook for a couple of minutes (do not cover) and then switch off the flame and serve with accompaniments of your choice.
- Water to cook – I have used 1 cup to soak the ingredients, 2 cups to cook the khichdi and around 1/2 cup to adjust the consistency of the khichdi (semi thick). Total 3 & 1/2 cups used for the recipe.
- It took me 4 whistles in a 10 litre pressure cooker to cook the rice and dal. Usually 3 whistles are good enough for white rice. If you don’t have time to soak, you might have to add extra whistles, especially when using brown rice as it takes time to cook.
- Cooking rice and dal on the stove top takes a long time so pressure cooking is ideal.
- Spinach Puree – In case you do not have ready puree in your refrigerator, add around 1 & 1/2 cups of tightly packed, finely chopped spinach leaves. This can be added to the dal and rice while pressure cooking. In that case, increase the quantity of water by 1/2 cup.
- I have not added any garam masala powder or whole spices. If you wish, you can add the whole spices while tempering with jeera (bay leaf, cardamom and peppercorns are a good option) or you can add 2 tsp of garam masala powder after sauteing the onion and tomato.
- For a Vegan Version of the recipe, use oil instead of ghee.
- Instead of Masoor Dal, you can add Yellow Moong dal or Toor Dal too.
Taking this recipe to the A to Z challenge this month wherein we choose to cook with key ingredients Alphabetically. This month it was time for Alphabet ‘S’. I chose my key ingredient ‘Spinach’ to cook this comforting Palak Khichdi.
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We will be back again with yet another exciting recipe .. Until then, stay healthy and happy!