Instant pot khichdi is a one pot porridge made with rice, lentils, and spices. Gluten-free and vegan friendly recipe. Great for digestion!
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 Southeast India has their 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, spices, and even vegetables. 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. 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). Tempering 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.
Instant Pot Khichdi
- 1 instant pot
- ½ cup basmati or long grain rice
- ½ cup split lentils such as yellow mung daal
- 1 tablespoon ghee (may use coconut oil or other neutral oil)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
For tadka, heat a small amount of ghee, butter, or coconut oil in a small pan. Then add few slices of garlic cloves, coriander seeds, chopped green chili until it turned slightly brown.
- Rinse and soak rice and lentils for 30 minutes.
- Set your 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 (30 seconds).
- Add rice and lentil and mix everything together. Add water to the pot and salt. (see notes for mushy vs non-mushy option). Stir 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.
- In the meantime, make tadka and top the khichdi with tadka before serving.