Here’s a recipe for keema khichri in the Bohra manner, which can be served on special occasions. Khichri elicits a wide range of emotions among desis. It’s the epitome of comfort cuisine, a one-pot, mildly flavoured rice and lentil meal. When my brothers and I got sick, my mother would make khichri for us. While I don’t relish the memories of an upset stomach, the appearance of khichri serves as a comforting reminder that someone cares and that everything will be OK.

Zeenat prepared a keema khichri that I had never had before. The khichri depicted here is a Bohra specialty. The Dawoodi Bohras are a Shia sect of Islam that started in Yemen and extended into India and Pakistan.



  • 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked overnight
  • 1 cup split moong daal washed and soaked overnight
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste


  • 4 tablespoon oil/ghee
  • 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced in half rings
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs quartered or thinly sliced in rings (optional)

Tadka (optional)

  • 2 tablespoon oil canola/sunflower/vegetable
  • 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced in half rings


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add rice and lentils, and let it simmer on low heat till the lentils are done, about 20 – 30 minutes. Drain immediately.
  • While the rice and lentils are cooking, you can begin to get the keema ready. Wash ground meat and drain.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan, and brown sliced onion on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Add crushed ginger and garlic, and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the ground spices and fry on medium heat for 1 minute. Add a splash of water to deglaze the pan if needed.
  • Turn heat up, add ground meat and salt. Fry the ground meat till it is cooked through and no longer pink.
  • Add ½ cup water, cover saucepan and let ground meat (keema at this point) cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove lid, increase heat to high and stir well for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • For the tadka (tempering), in a small frying pan, fry the onions till they are a medium brown. This step is optional
  • In an about 4 quart, oven-proof pot, begin to layer the rice, tempered onions and keema. Start with the rice, and top with onions, and a thin layer of keema and chopped eggs (if using). Keep layering.
  • Cover and put in the oven for about 10 minutes.

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