Moong Dal Khichdi (Kitchari) is a simple dish made with rice and lentils, tempered in ghee with cumin seeds. This is also referred to as Pongal in South India. This recipe is to prepare Khichdi in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. It takes 20 minutes or less and is a perfect comfort meal for weeknights.
Khichdi is very light and easy to digest, hence it is 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.
Many khichdi recipes have onions and tomatoes added to them, which I would refer to as Masala or Vegetable Khichdi. You can check out recipe for that here. This one is a simple khichdi with just lentils and rice. People prefer variations of khichdi. 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.
Update: I am very excited that this Indian favorite was recently featured on NPR. See the post “Khichuri – An Ancient Indian comfort dish with a Global Influence”.
How to make Pressure Cooker Khichdi or Pongal?
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.
Heat ghee in the instant pot in sauté mode. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, black peppercorns, curry leaves, ginger and green chili. Once the ginger has changed the color to golden brown, add in equal quantities lentils and rice. I used half cup each in this recipe. Add 4 cups water. Stir in the salt and turmeric powder.
Change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 5 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, the khichdi will be ready.
Optionally add tadka or tempering if you like. In this case, I just added ghee and half a teaspoon of red chili powder to prepare the tadka. You can also replace with just a dollop of ghee.
Enjoy Khichdi with mango pickle and yogurt.
Let me share some reasons why you want to try this Khichdi:
√ It is real comfort food. Don’t forget to top 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 and give this Khichdi a try!
Khichdi / Pongal - Instant Pot
- 1/2 cup Basmati Rice washed (125ml)
- 1/2 cup Split Yellow Lentils (Moong Dal) washed (125ml)
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 1/8 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
- 1" inch Ginger finely chopped
- 1 Green chili pepper (optional)
- 8 leaves Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)
- 4 cups Water
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- Start instant pot in sauté mode and heat ghee in it. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, black peppercorns, curry leaves, ginger and green chili.
- When the ginger turns golden brown, add rice, moong dal and water. Stir in salt and turmeric powder. Close lid with vent in sealing position.
- Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR)
- (optional) For tempering, heat ghee in a small pan and add the red chili powder to it. Add it on the cooked khichdi.
- To make this khichdi vegan, replace ghee with oil of your choice.
- Khichdi typically has a porridge like consistency. If you like a dry consistency for your khichdi, add less water.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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