Healthy Quinoa Mung Dal Khichdi, Quinoa Lentil Kedgeree, Healthy Khichadi

What is warm, comforting, most natural choice when you’re in need of some TLC and the Indian version of what Chicken Soup is to the West? You’ve guessed it – it’s our very own khichdi, khichadi or khichri. Serve it when you’re ill, or just wish to eat something light yet nutritionally balanced and filling – a bowlful of khichdi is always a wise resort.

I’m under the weather a bit (the usual common cold & cough; nothing to worry about), and was living mostly off the readymade soup mixes for the last 2 days, until their exorbitant sodium content began to sound alarm bells in my mind. While I am aware of the fact that when you’re sick your body needs more electrolytes and can do away with extra sodium reserves, AND that my fitness regime will help abate the dangers of high Sodium intake, I guess I’ve just gotten wired that way (perks of adopting to a healthier lifestyle 😛 ). I just CAN’T understand why foods have to be doused with those high levels of Sodium, just to ensure longer shelf life. My major grouse here – millions of people around the world are exposed to and enticed by ready-to-eat food choices and fast food options, and a majority of them are unware of the brunt of high sodium levels and other additives. More on that in another post.

Anyway, I decided to skip the ready-mix soup packets today and opted for a more homely, convenient and favorite comfort-food option – khichdi – a rice and lentil mixture with vegetables and whole spices, doused in ghee. In most Indian households, Khichdi is that magic potion your mother advocates for every sickness and health problem – two portions of that and lo!, I almost hear my mother remarking, “didn’t I tell you this will help you shake off the cold?”

I decided to give my mother’s traditional recipe a new spin and used quinoa instead of rice. Now, I do love rice and believe it has good amount of essential micronutrients too (before the purists start with their condescension), I just wanted to add tad bit more fiber content and protein, while not compromising with the comforting texture, not to mention fewer simple carbs.

I use a 1:1 ratio for rice/ quinoa and moong. The recipe conventionally uses yellow split lentils or peeli mung for the recipe for mushy texture and easy digestion, but you could use whole green or yellow lentils, thus improving the nutrition as well. I also add a liberal amount of ghee on top of my khichdi, and sometimes even cook in a mixture of oil & ghee.

Healthy Quinoa Moong Khichdi


Serves 5

Preparation Time: 30 minutes


  • 5 cups Quinoa (I used the white variant)
  • 5 cups Moong Dal (yellow split lentils)
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6-7 pods garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp ginger paste (optional)
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 tbsp jeera (cumin)
  • ½ tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 6-7 peppercorns, whole
  • ½ cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 5-6 sprigs coriander, for garnish
  • 1 lemon


Soak quinoa and moong dal for 15-20 minutes. Rinse afterwards until the foam/ bubbles stop forming at the top. Set aside.

Heat ghee/oil or a combination of both in a pressure cooker pan. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns. Once the seeds splutter, add the vegetables and stir.

Add spices, turmeric, salt and stir. Add soaked quinoa and moong dal along with 4 cups of water.

Place the pressure cooker lid atop the pan and allow 2-3 whistles to pass.

Serve while hot,  with a dollop of ghee on top!


  • If confused about the quantity of water to add in case you’re using a different ratio or quantity of pulses, simply add enough water to just submerge the vegetable and grain mixture. This tip works great for most pulses or grains, with a few exceptions like when using brown rice.
  • If cooking in an open pan and not in a pressure cooker, cover with a lid and cook until quinoa begins to sprout and moong dal is tender. It might take only up to 10 minutes.


Energy 305 calories
Protein 13 g
Fat 15 g
Carbohydrates 24 g
Of which, Fiber 5.5 g

*Recipe is for 5 servings; all values in grams.

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  1. Khichdi is a staple in our house! My grandmother eats it for lunch every day..After few days of eating out, I too like to eat khichdi with her :). It keeps me so light and fresh unlike our usual heavy punjabi lunches!! This is a great recipe with quinoa! I am going to make this soon.. I am not sure of Dadi liking it.. But me and mom will definitely love the change!

    1. Khichdi does actually feel very light and what’s more, it is one of the best protein sources for vegetarians, as the amino acid profiles of rice and dal complement each other perfectly! Please do try it Deepika! I understand why Dadi might not like it, but I’m sure you’ll find it interesting 🙂

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