Moong Dal Khichdi, or Kitchari is a simple dish made with rice and lentils, tempered in ghee with cumin seeds and turmeric. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and is a perfect comfort meal for weeknights or when someone is under the weather!

Moong Dal Khichdi in a bowl garnished with cilantro and topped with pickle
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Khichdi is a favorite food for my daughters. They also love pongal, which is a South Indian variation of khichdi. Anytime when they are fussy about food, sick or really just anytime, give them Khichdi with yogurt and they will savor it to the last bite!

Khichdi is very light and easy to digest, hence it is also a popular meal during an illness.  It is also one of the starter foods for babies for the same reason.  However I love to have this khichdi on other days as well to get a break from spices and have a simple comfort meal.

Watch How to Make Instant Pot Khichdi

What is Khichdi or Kitchari?

Khichdi is basically a rice and lentil porridge, which is typically spiced with turmeric and tempered with ghee and cumin seeds. It is vegetarian and gluten-free.

It can be made with various dals, but the most popular ones to use are moong dal (split yellow lentils) or green moong dal (split green lentils).

Every region or house in India has their own version of khichdi. This is a simple one made with just ghee, cumin seeds, hing (asafoetida) and turmeric. You can vary it by adding ginger or green chili’s or even vegetables.

The recipe I am sharing here is the North Indian version of khichdi. In South India, ven pongal is a popular dish made with rice and lentils. It is very similar to khichdi, but spiced with black peppercorns, curry leaves, ginger and green chili’s.

Some khichdi recipes have onions, tomatoes or veggies added to them, which I would refer to as Masala or Vegetable Khichdi. I have also shared a Quinoa Khichdi recipe.  This one is a plain simple khichdi with just lentils and rice.

Khichdi is served with yogurt, pickle and papad.  Don’t hesitate to top with a spoon of ghee to get the real flavor!

Kitchari Benefits

Khichdi, also called Kitchari, is recommended by Ayurveda as one of the balanced foods, which is easy to digest, gives strength and vitality. It is excellent for detoxification and de-aging of the cells. Turmeric added to khichdi has lots of good health benefits. You can add ginger to khichdi too.

Khichdi is great to eat if someone is sick or has tummy issues. It is also great as part of a cleanse or detox to reset the digestive system after big meals during the holidays.

Did you know there is a name for a khichdi cleanse diet? It is called PanchaKarma.

It is great for babies as their first food or for elders who need to have foods that are gentle on the digestive system.

How to make Khichdi?

I have used Split Yellow Lentils to make this khichdi.  Khichdi can also be prepared with Split Green Moong dal.  As I wanted to make this a one-pot recipe, I added the tempering before rice and dal.  Khichdi is best prepared in Ghee or Clarified Butter. You can make ghee in your instant pot using the recipe here. To make this recipe vegan, use your favorite plant based oil or vegan butter.

Rinse the dal and rice in a bowl. You can also soak them for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat ghee in the instant pot in sauté mode. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add equal quantities of lentils and rice. I used half a cup each in this recipe.  Add 4 cups water.  Stir in the salt and turmeric powder.

Usually khichdi is cooked in double the water than what you use to prepare rice and has a runny consistency, however you can vary the amount of water to get your desired consistency.

Change the instant pot setting to pressure cook mode for 6 minutes.  When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.

Moong Dal Khichdi in the instant pot step by step

Khichdi is ready. Serve in bowls and top with a dollop of ghee.

Khichdi tastes best when it is warm.

Ayurvedic Kitchari made in the instant pot served in a white bowl garnished with cilantro

Enjoy Khichdi with mango pickle and yogurt on the side.

You can also serve papad and buttermilk (masala chaas) along with khichdi.

Common Questions

Can I store leftover khichdi?

Yes, you can store leftovers for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Let it cool down, then store in an airtight container.

How to reheat khichdi?

Khichdi does get dry when stored. So add a couple of tablespoons of water per serving before heating to the bowl. Then microwave for 1-2 minutes (varies by quantity). You can also reheat in a pan on stovetop.

Simple comforting Kitchari made with lentils and rice served in a bowl

Why you want to try this Khichdi:

√ It is real comfort food. Don’t forget to top it with lots of ghee.

√ You are sick and need to have something light.

√ After a weekend of eating outside, you want a detox meal.

So don’t wait; give this Khichdi a try!

You might like other related recipes from Piping Pot Curry:

4.92 from 92 votes

Instant Pot Khichdi

Moong Dal Khichdi, or Kitchari is a simple dish made with rice and lentils, tempered in ghee with cumin seeds and turmeric. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and is a perfect comfort meal for weeknights or when someone is under the weather!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Add basmati rice and moong dal to a bowl and rinse with water a few times till the water runs clear.
  • Heat the instant pot in sauté mode and add ghee in it. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
  • When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add rice, moong dal and water. Add the salt and turmeric powder. Give it a stir. Then close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR).
  • Khichdi is ready to serve. Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of ghee, along with a side of papad and pickle.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

  • Follow the same steps as above and cook for 3-4 whistles on medium flame. Let the pressure release naturally.



Vegan: To make this khichdi vegan, replace ghee with plant based oil or vegan butter of your choice.
Dal and Rice: I use equal amounts of dal and rice in this recipe, to make this khichdi more protein-rich. Traditionally it was made with about 2/3 parts of rice and 1/3 parts of dal. 
Consistency: Khichdi typically has a porridge like consistency. If you like a dry consistency for your khichdi, add less water. 
Optional Ingredients: You can add other optional ingredients when making khichdi too. These can be added before adding the rinsed dal and rice to the pot.  
  • Black Peppercorns 
  • Grated Ginger 
  • Green Chili Peppers 


Serving: 311gCalories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 35.13gProtein: 8.52gFat: 6.92gSaturated Fat: 3.805gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 886mgPotassium: 289mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 1.33gVitamin A: 900IUVitamin C: 31.4mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2.7mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

This recipe has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2017.

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.92 from 92 votes (64 ratings without comment)

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  1. I use this every time I run out. I make this for my 2 year old toddler. She loves it. We mix in little
    Yogurt after too. I use ghee to saute onions and then add garlic and spices

  2. I’m making this today for the fourth time. Every time one of my kids is sick they ask for the magic khichdi that makes them feel better!

  3. This is the perfect food. I appreciate the simplicity & clarity of your recipe with its minimal ingredients. I make this whenever I’m under the weather or want to feel cozy. Indulging in this is extremely soothing and nourishing. Thank you!

  4. You’re such an amazing cook and your recipes are exactly how my mum cooks . I live so far away from my mum and really miss her cooking . So it’s an absolute joy when I make your recipes and reminds me fondly of the days when my mum would make me food . So Thankyou 🙏

  5. Hi Meeta! Great recipe and thank you! I have a pre made bag of Dal Khichdi from the Indian Market and will follow this recipe exactly hoping for good results. Love your website and all the information here!