Restaurant style dal kichdi/ Spicy Rice dal kichdi with vegetables

Taste of this kichdi varies from that of bisibele bhath and this is flavourful meal option with garam masala. This wholesome, delicious spicy rice dish is rich in protein and other nutrients with all the goodness of rice, dal, vegetables and common spices.
My 5 years old daughter being a kichdi lover, we tend to order varieties of kichdi/ pongal in restaurants whenever we were travelling. It used to be a solution to feed her. I happened to taste it first time in Madikeri, Coorg and tried at home with combinations of spices. It tasted really good. I normally cook food which is mildly spiced as kids don’t like too spicy food. You can adjust the spices as desired with adding more or less than mentioned below. You can also play around with other spices with which you can make kichdi of different taste every time. Here is my recipe, which may look lengthy. If you happen to try once and used to the process, then it won’t be very difficult!

Restaurant style dal kichdi

Preparation time: 4 hours (including soaking of peas), otherwise 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4
White Rice – 1 cup
Tur dal – 1 cup (or you can use 0.5 + 0.5 cup of tur dal & moong dal)
Choice of vegetables (Carrots, beans, potato)– about 1 cup (diced)
Green peas – ¼ cup (fresh or soaked in water)
Onions (medium) – 1 , finely chopped
Tomatoes – 1-2, chopped
Tej patta/ bay leaf - 1
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Ginger – ¼ inch
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp, adjust as required
Sambhar powder – ¾ - 1 tsp, or you can replace it with cumin powder (¼tsp), coriander powder (¼tsp) and chilli powder (½ tsp)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – to taste
Tamarind extract - 1 tsp (optional), I add tamarind
Jaggery – 1 piece of gooseberry sized (optional)
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 big pinch
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Coriander leaves – chopped for garnishing

  • Wash and soak green peas in water for 4 hours if you are using dry peas. Wash it once again and drain water.
  • Wash rice and dal with clean running water until water flows clear. Set aside.
  • Wash all the vegetables and cut into desired size.
  • Peel off onions, wash and chop finely.
  • Wash tomatoes and chop them finely too. Keep separate.
  • Peel garlic and crush with cleaned ginger coarsely.
  • Now, heat a pressure cooker with ghee. Add bay leaf. Sauté for a while until you get an aroma.
  • Add crushed ginger & garlic. Fry until raw smell goes off.
  • Add chopped onions and fry until translucent.
  • Add Sambhar powder or (cumin, coriander & chilli powder). Add turmeric powder  too. Stir well.
  • Add tomatoes, peas and other vegetables.
  • Add garam masala to it. Combine everything well.
  • Now add washed rice & dal. Add about 6 cups of water or little more. Add salt and close the lid and weight of pressure cooker.
  • It will be done in 3 whistles. Switch off the stove, allow cooling.
  • When pressure releases completely, open the lid.
  • Add tamarind extract, jaggery if using. Add water to adjust the consistency. It will require little more water like bisibele bhath as it thickens on cooling.
  • Mix very well, boil the kichdi. Taste and add more garam masala or salt if you feel it is needed.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of mustard, cumin seeds, and asafoetida in oil. On spluttering add curry leaves and add it to the kichdi. Switch off the stove.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve hot kichdi with choice of raita.
Dal kichdi

  • Adjust the flavors/ masala as required.
  • You can make this kichdi with rice and only tur dal or combination of dals like tur dal, moong dal channa dal.
  • You can make fresh garam masala by powdering fried spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, star anise, pepper & fennel seed.
  • Similarly for sambhar powder, fry red chillis, coriander, cumin, 5-6 fenugreek seeds and powder them.
  • I mentioned tamarind & jaggery as optional as few people don't like it in kichdi which I received as feedback as well.. I love adding them in kichdi.
Rice dal kichdi with vegetables