Instant Pot Khichdi
Instant Pot Khichdi is a one-pot soothing porridge with rice, lentils, and spices. Naturally gluten-free and vegan friendly.
In between all the holiday inspired recipes and indulgent treats, I think you are going to appreciate Instant Pot Khichdi very much. It's a very flavorful and nourishing porridge made with rice, lentils, spices, and vegetables, which is optional. Khichdi is an ancient dish that can be traced back to 1200 BC and is revered very much in the Ayurverdic world. There are so many variations of khichdi; every region in India has it's own version and every family puts their own spin on khichdi but the whole idea is to have a comforting dish made with rice, lentils and other add-ons. The extra ingredients added is based on the region, seasonal availability of ingredients, and how luxurious or simple you want your khichdi to be. I am keeping this Instant Pot Khichdi very simple so it's soothing & easy to digest. However, you can totally go for a luxurious khichdi called Shahjahani Khichdi if you wish.
I am sharing an instant pot version today but you can use stove top or pressure cooker to make khichdi. You can choose whatever rice or lentils (split lentils better due to it's short cook time) you choose to make khichdi but just be mindful that cooking time, ratio of water, and the final consistency can vary.
I have used basmati rice (long grained rice) and split yellow lentils (moong/mun dal) as they are a staple in my pantry. All beans and lentils are great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients but split moong dal in particular is easy on digestion (least gas forming) and known for it's grounding/cooling properties according to the Ayurveda.
I love the fact that split moong dal takes very little time to cook, which is perfect for a weeknight. If you don't want to take the khichi route, just try the daal (general term for lentil-based soup from subcontinent region) alone. Another quick cooking lentil is red split lentil and here is my goto daal recipe but it can be used interchangeably for both split yellow or split red lentil.
While instant pot does most of the work, you can totally step up your khichdi game by tempering (known as tadka, bagar, jhaneko). It is a technique where spices and aromatics are fried in hot ghee (or oil if you want to keep things vegan) to release their essential oils and flavors making the dish even more flavorful. It is optional but I strongly suggest not skipping this step, esp for daal and khichdi because it really transforms the dish to a whole another level.
Tempering can be done with whole spices (such as cumin, coriander, mustard), bay leaf or curry leaves, and other aromatics like onion, garlic, green chili, tomato, and powdered spices ( turmeric and asafetida). You can keep things simple or go all out....
Instant Pot Khichdi is a wholesome, comforting dish by itself but you can round it up with Nepali Style Cauli Aloo // papad (lentils crackers) // Indian-style pickles // yogurt etc.
I hope you will enjoy Instant Pot Khichdi as much as I do and if you make it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Don't forget to tag @foodpleasurehealth and share your creation.
Instant Pot Khichdi
Author: Dixya @Food, Pleasure, and Health
Serves: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1/2 cup yellow split moong daal
- 1 tablespoon ghee (may use coconut oil)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2-3 cups water (see notes)
- salt, to taste
- Rinse and soak rice and lentils for 30 minutes.
- Set instant pot to saute setting.
- Add ghee into the pot and once it starts to melt, add cumin seed.
- Allow cumin seed to toast a bit then add bay leaves.
- Add cumin powder and turmeric and let it fry for few minutes until fragrant.
- Add rice and lentil and mix everything together.
- Add water to the pot and salt. (see notes for mushy vs non-mushy option)
- Mix everything and close the lid.
- Change from saute setting to rice (for12 minutes). Make sure the vent is in sealing position.
- Allow it to naturally release the pressure (NPR) then open the lid.
- Give it a good stir before serving.
- Top khichdi with tadka. See notes for making tadka.
Adding Water: I like to double the amount of water to the ratio of lentil and rice (in this case 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice and lentil mix) for not completely mushy khichdi. However, the type of rice and how long you soak can differ the cook time. For a really mushy khichdi, you can 1: 3 ratio but I suggest adding water later if you feel like it. If the khichdi is too watery for your liking, change the instant pot setting to sautee, allow the extra water to cook off.
For tadka, I heated small amount of ghee, butter, or coconut oil in a small pan. Then I added few sliced garlic cloves, coriander seeds, chopped green chili until it turned slightly brown.