Moong Dal Khichdi / Pongal – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Dal Khichdi Instant Pot

Moong Dal Khichdi 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 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.

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

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 Khichdi or Pongal in Instant Pot?

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.

Dal Khichdi Instant Pot

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.

Dal Khichdi Instant Pot

Try this simple Moong Dal Khichdi.  I would love to hear how you like it. Leave a comment, like our Facebook page or share the recipe on facebook or twitter with #pipingpotcurry.

You might like other related recipes from Piping Pot Curry –  Masala KhichdiQuinoa Pulao, Vegetable Pulao and Bulgur/Dalia Pulao.


5 from 2 votes
Dal Khichdi Instant Pot
Khichdi / Pongal - Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Moong Dal Khichdi or Pongal is a simple dish made with rice and lentils, tempered in ghee with cumin seeds. This recipe is to prepare Khichdi in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian
Method: Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker
Servings: 4
Calories: 232 kcal
Author: Piping Pot Curry
For Tempering (optional)
  1. Start instant pot in sauté mode and heat ghee in it. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, black peppercorns, curry leaves, ginger and green chili.
  2. 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. 

  3. Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 5 minutes.

  4. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR)
  5. (optional) For tempering, heat ghee in a small pan and add the red chili powder to it. Add it on the cooked khichdi.
Recipe Notes
  • To make this khichdi vegan, replace ghee with oil of your choice.
Nutrition Facts
Khichdi / Pongal - Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving (311 g)
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.92g 11%
Saturated Fat 3.805g 19%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 886mg 37%
Potassium 289mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 35.13g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3.8g 15%
Sugars 1.33g
Protein 8.52g 17%
Vitamin A 18%
Vitamin C 38%
Calcium 5%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


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24 thoughts on “Moong Dal Khichdi / Pongal – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

  1. Hi Meeta,
    I just found you and I am in love. I have recently been putting my instant pot to work, practically on the daily, and all of your recipes are things that I’ve always enjoyed in restaurants and never attempted making myself. (expect for dahl and simple curries). My question is whether you have an online spice purveyor that you recommend? Thank you & namaste.. ~Hilary

    1. Hey Hilary – I am happy to hear you are enjoying the recipes and want to try them. I usually get my spices from the Indian grocery store nearby. However recently I have got some from Costco (turmeric, cinnamon). I also see all the Indian spice brands available on Amazon, you can find the links on the recipes. Otherwise, Penzeys spices has been very popular in the instant pot groups. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi Meeta,

    I tried this recipe (with white basmati) and it came out great!

    Now, I want to try it with brown rice…. have you tried brown rice khichdi?
    How much pressure cooking time would you recommend?
    What kind of release?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Priya – Happy to hear that you liked the Moong Dal Khichdi. For your question about making this khichdi with brown rice, I am not sure it would work as well. The reason being brown rice takes much longer to cook and in that much time the moong dal will turn to mush. Other lentils that take longer to cook could work better with brown rice, such as chana dal or masoor dal or split moong lentils. If you try, soak the brown rice in warm water for 3 hours. Then pressure cook at high pressure with the lentils for 12 minutes, follow with a NPR. Hope that helps!

  3. This looks really good!!!! I have been sick for over a week with a bad head cold…wish I had seen this earlier but going to make it for sure.!!!

    1. Hey Therese – I am sure you will enjoy this anytime. I make it frequently when I have not planned ahead much. You can also check the khichdi recipe where I just add veggies along with the rice and lentils, to make this a complete meal 🙂

      1. Well, I tried it, and it tasted very good, but I did not get the pongal texture. I have a feeling that it was because I was using the wrong lentils. I didn’t have moong dal – only chana dal. What do you think? It ended up watery. The other possibility was that I didn’t have the instant pot on high pressure – I will have to look into that. My instant pot is new so I don’t know all the ins and outs yet.

        1. Hey Laura – I agree with you that you did not get the pongal texture as the lentils were different. Chana dal also takes longer to cook, and has a very different taste then moong dal. You can set the instant pot on high pressure by pressing the Pressure Level button, which will change between high/low pressure in the DUO series instant pot. Do try it with split moong lentils and let me know how it turns out.

        2. I will try it with moong dal – however, they didn’t have it when I was at superstore, so I am still working with substitutes. My yesterday effort was a bit closer – I used yellow split peas. I also used natural release (which I did not do the first time out of impatience!)

          I love pongal – used to have it at a South Indian buffet every Sunday, and it was my favourite dish

        3. Hey Laura – Yellow split peas are certainly closer than chana dal. If you have access to an Indian grocery store, that would be the perfect place to bu lentils. Amazon has them too, but a tad bit expensive than the Indian grocery stores. Hope you get the expected texture and taste 🙂

  4. Hi Nisha,

    I just got the IP and am trying out different recipes. Thank you for this recipe. Is it 5 minutes of high pressure or low pressure?
    Thank you,

    1. Hey Priya – Congratulations for the new Instant Pot! The default is high pressure. I will update the recipe to mention that.

  5. About how long does it typically take for the Natural Release? I’m pretty new to the Instant Pot and I’ve had more IP fails than I’d like. Thanks!

    1. Hey Nisha – It can take upto 20 minutes for NPR depending on the amount of food or the kind of food in the instant pot. If it takes any longer, you can always release the pressure manually. For this khichdi, feel free to NPR after 10 mins too. I hope this one works out and you enjoy it 🙂

    1. Hey Beth – Great question. This is the same as pongal. The difference is nomenclature, north indian’s would call this Khichdi and South Indians would call this pongal. I will add that to the recipe post 😊

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