Indian Cooking Class 1 – Khichari

My friend Margaret and I attended a free Indian cooking class at Northland Public Library. I highly recommend it.

The Indian cook, Ann Manchella, prepared Kichidi (that’s the way she spells it. Most common is Khichari), a rice dish widely known in India as a comfort food. Ann demonstrated the preparation of the dish and served us tasty samples. – Reward without the effort. The only thing that would have stepped up this class is some Indian beer <wink>.

Here is the recipe and a few photos from the evening.

split moong, photo by Jenny MacBethSplit moong dal. This can be used in place of split red lentils. Either work well.

kichidi photo by Jenny MacBethDone!

sauces photo by Jenny MacBethAnn and her team (husband), served the dish with plain yogurt and two spicy sauces. Love the spices in Indian food. I must get this.

The audience moaned when they were eating it.

We are headed back where Ann will make Puri, an unleavened Indian bread, to accompany Aloo Sabji, a potato curry; which I absolutely love.

Here is Ann’s recipe…


1/3 cup of split red lentils, or split moong dal

1 cup basmati or other long-grain rice or brown rice

3 tablespoons of ghee or oil (ghee is easy to make. Click link for recipe)

1/3 cup of unsalted cashews

3 teaspoons of cumin seeds

1 tablespoon of fresh hot green chili, minced

2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons of turmeric

1 teaspoon of yellow asafetida powder

3 cups of mixed vegetables: Chopped green beans, carrots, cauliflower, spinach (Ann says that you can use whatever veges you like)

5-6 cups of water (if needed)

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 tablespoon of butter

1 cup of tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves

1 bunch of curry leaves


  1. Boil water and add lentils or dal. After they are half-cooked, add rice and vegetables.
  2. In a separate saucepan, heat the ghee over medium heat. When the ghee is hot, put asafetida followed by cumin seeds. Then add curry leaves, chilies and ginger. Add cashews and saute till they turn slight brown. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook them till the water from the tomatoes is gone.
  3. Stir in the lentils and rice to they curry (once lentils and rice is 90% cooked). If the Kichidi dries out too much, add up to 1 cup warm water.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with yogurt, Lime Pickle and Bedekar Mango Chili sauces (pictured above).

All this was free, so click to register for upcoming programs or by calling the adult services reference desk at 412-366-8100, ext.113.

Thanks Ann! I really enjoyed your class.



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4 thoughts on “Indian Cooking Class 1 – Khichari

  1. Be careful if you buy asafetida, it will really stink up your kitchen!. Keep the bottle in an airtight container.

  2. Ann made this recipe look really easy, and it was delicious! I went home and had a beer, because I still had the taste of hot spices in my mouth.

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