Soak the rice and lentils in a large pan of water for 30 minutes.
In a large nonstick saucepan melt the ghee. Add the cumin and fry for 20 seconds, or until the seeds have colored and their aroma has been released. Stir in the onion and cook until they are soft.
When the onion has cooked, add the chile, ginger, garlic, and salt and cook for a minute before adding the turmeric, water, drained rice, and lentils. Bring the mixture to the boil briefly before lowering the heat and simmering gently until the rice and lentils are tender. This should take approximately 20 minutes. (If using brown rice, follow the same method, cooking the rice and lentils for 40 minutes with a little additional water.)
Once the rice and lentils are tender, stir in the garam masala and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
NotesKhicheri is made with rice and lentils. I make mine with brown rice and split green lentils, but it is normally made with white rice and can be made with just about any kind of lentil.