Belfast Telegraph

Inspiration for Christmas with Tilda Basmati: Brown Basmati and Chana Dal Khichri

From winter warmers to inspiration for Christmas, its' now easier than ever to be creative this festive season!

Inspired by the regal Bengali Cholar Dal, this wholesome khichri is made with the added goodness of brown basmati. The nutty warmth of the rice and lentils are perfectly matched with the delicate sweetness of the coconut, ghee and caramelised sugar in this dish created by Mallika Basu for Tilda Basmati.

Brown Basmati and Chana Dal Khichri

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes (plus 30 minutes soaking time for dry rice and lentils)

Cook time: 35 minutes for dry rice (or approx. 30 minutes for steamed rice)


  • 250 gm Tilda Brown Basmati Rice or 3 packs of Tilda® Steamed Brown Basmati Rice
  • 80 gm chana lentils (also known as yellow Bengal gram)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • Half tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp grated/finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Half tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • Handful of coconut chips to garnish


  • If using dry rice, wash both the rice and the lentils thoroughly in a sieve until the water runs clear
  • Place both in a bowl, cover with fresh cold water and leave to soak for at least half an hour
  • Put a large pot on medium heat, add the ghee and when hot, add in the bay leaf, cardamom pods, cinnamon and sugar. As the sugar caramelises, stir in the ginger
  • Drain the rice and lentils and mix in with the ingredients in the large pot. Stir well, adding the turmeric, salt and four cups of cold water. Stir again to mix properly
  • Bring the pot to the boil and then lower to a medium-low heat, letting the rice and lentils bubble away until cooked. This will take a good 30-35 minutes, but if the rice begins to dry out you can stir in another cup of water
  • To finish, mix in the garam masala and season with salt to taste
  • Toast some coconut chips in ghee and sprinkle over the top to garnish
  • If using a pouch of Tilda Steamed Brown Basmati Rice, soak and cook the lentils as above with three cups of water. Cook the lentils for around 25 minutes, or until when the lentils are soft but still whole, then mix in the contents of the steamed pouch.
  • Add the bay leaf, cardamom pods, cinnamon, sugar and ginger and stir well. Cook for 4 minutes and add a pinch of salt to taste, before topping with toasted coconut chips to serve

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