Laapsi khichdi a' la Pervin

Laapsi khichdi a' la Pervin

Wet rice and lentils with onion and tomato

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

This is a great khichdi and one that has become a favourite in our family. However, my wife has perfected her own recipe by trial and error based on the tastes, likes and dislikes of us all, so I cannot claim mine is, necessarily, the best! Flavourings vary from household to household but onion, garlic and tomato are common to all. Laapsi is another word for ‘wet’ but the result is more moist and slightly glutinous from the starch in the rice rather than swilling in liquid, which the name implies.

This is traditionally served with choonda (a typical Gujarati-style chutney made by mixing spices and sugar with shredded or grated raw mango and leaving it in the sun to mature). Use yellow lentils or split peas if you can’t get the split mung beans.


Quantity Ingredient
400g basmati rice
200g split yellow mung beans
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
2-3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
generous pinch ground asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1.2 litres water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
hot and sweet mango chutney
spring onions, shredded


  1. Wash the rice and lentils well together then cover with cold water and leave to soak while preparing the vegetables.
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Sauté the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds until fragrant then add the asafoetida and the garlic. Keep stirring to prevent the spices from burning.
  3. As soon as the garlic changes colour add the chopped onions and sauté until the onions are soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the rice and lentils and add to the casserole with the tomatoes, turmeric, chilli powder and ground cumin. Stir for a minute or two then add the water.
  5. Add the butter and salt, cover and cook over a medium heat for 30–40 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking. Unlike most rice dishes, the rice needs to be well-cooked so do not worry if it gets mushy, that’s what laapsi should be. If it is drying out, add a little more water to keep it really moist.
  6. As soon as the rice and the daal are cooked and the khichdi has the consistency of porridge, remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.
  7. Serve with choonda or mango chutney, papadums and shredded spring onions.
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