Khandeshi Khichdi: The Lesser-Known Indian Khichdi With A Twist
Image Credit: Swad Marathi/YouTube

The rich and diverse Khandeshi cuisine is believed to have flourished in the mediaeval period during the reign of the Faruqi Dynasty. The dishes of this cuisine reflect the cultural heritage of the Khandesh region of Maharashtra, incorporating a range of indigenously produced ingredients, such as wheat and millet. Owing to the influence of the Maratha Empire, which was characterised by its fondness for spicy food, Khandeshi dishes also tend to be packed with spices, including special masalas and chilli powders.

The Special Kala Masala

One such spice that is a fixture in Khandeshi cuisine is “kala masala.” This spice is typically derived by combining different spices, such as cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, stone flower, sesame seeds, and chilli. Kala masala pairs particularly well with meat-based dishes, including Kolhapuri chicken and Khandeshi mutton curry, as the punchy and rustic flavours of the masala provide a great balance to the richness and the succulence of the meat. Khandeshi cuisine also uses kala masala in vegetarian dishes, such as Khandeshi khichdi, to elevate them to the next level.

Image Credits: Yogita's Kitchen/YouTube

A Khichdi With A Twist: Khandeshi Khichdi

Khichdi is a classic comfort food that is relished across India for its nourishing and heartwarming qualities. But did you know that the country has several undiscovered versions of khichdi? These khichdis may be lesser known as they are limited to the regions that started preparing them and never flourished beyond their localities. One such khichdi with a twist is the traditional Khandeshi khichdi. Loaded with spices, such as kala masala, turmeric, and ginger, Khandeshi khichdi packs a spicy punch, setting it apart from regular, run-of-the-mill khichdis.

Thanks to its spicy quotient, Khandeshi khichdi resembles masala rice more than a regular khichdi. This khichdi also uses peanuts to add crunch to the dish; the softness of the rice and the crunchiness of the nuts produce a thrilling effect when one eats a spoonful of the dish. The dish is heartier than regular khichdis, and it uses locally sourced Khandeshi ingredients in its preparation. One particular standout element of this dish is the “vatan,” an amalgamation of coconut, garlic, ginger, and coriander stems; this mixture is brimming with flavours that elevate this khichdi to the next level.

Khandeshi khichdi is relatively simple to prepare at home. In fact, former MasterChef India finalist Suvarna Bakul recently shared an easy Khandeshi khichdi recipe on her Instagram page, @masterchef_suvarnabakul. You can view the entire video below. The recipe has also been summarised after the video for your quick reference.

Khandeshi Khichdi: Recipe


3 cups of rice

1 cup of arhar ki dal



1–2 onions

Turmeric powder


½ cup of dry coconut (for the vatan)

5–6 pieces of garlic (for the vatan)

Ginger (for the vatan)

Coriander steam (for the vatan)

3–4 tablespoons of garam masala


Step 1: Heat oil in a cooker.

Step 2: Add the onion and peanuts and mix them thoroughly.

Step 3: Add the vatan ingredients, that is, dry coconut, garlic, and ginger, and mix them thoroughly.

Step 4: Add potato and sliced dry coconut, plus water, along with turmeric powder and salt.

Step 5: Wash the short-grain rice and dal and add them to the pressure cooker for cooking purposes.

Step 6: Garnish the khichdi with fresh coriander and serve.