This comforting turmeric-spiced rice and lentil porridge is my go-to recipe when a family member feels under the weather. Instant pot khichdi is a soothing and healing food. It’s delicious when topped with ghee.
What is Khichdi?
In many Indian households, this dish is often prepared for the very young, the sick, and the elderly. It’s also a good postpartum dish. My mom made me khichdi every day for a week (along with other healing foods) after my son, Tony was born because khichdi is thought to be healing and light on the stomach. When Tony was 6-months-old and started eating solids, khichdi was one of the first foods I gave him, and he loved it.
Instant Pot Khichdi is very simple to make. It calls for a handful of ingredients, the main two being basmati rice and small yellow lentils, also known as moong dal. You can also make this with toor dal.
Depending on what region you’re from in India, Khichdi is prepared slightly differently. Below is how my family makes this dish: with a few simple spices and plenty of ghee. The great thing is that this recipe is easily customizable, so feel free to add ginger, garlic, green chilies, or more spices if you wish. I almost always add chopped green chilies to my husband’s bowl – but that’s true of almost everything I make.
- Basmati Rice
- Small Yellow Lentils (Moong Dal): you can also use toor dal to change things up!
- Ghee or Oil: I highly recommend ghee if you’re not vegan. It makes this dish more luxurious.
- Cumin Seeds
- Bay Leaf
- Black Pepper
Here are several reasons why you might want to give khichdi a try:
- you feel a cold coming on.
- you’ve been eating terribly lately and are in need of a detox.
- you have an upset stomach/tummy ache.
- you want to eat something easily digestible (great postpartum dish).
- hungover? yep, you’ll want a bowl of this.
Watch How Easy it is to Make Khichdi!
For the full recipe, see the recipe card below 😋
First, we soak the basmati rice and small yellow lentils (moong dal) in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside for now.
After that, press sauté and add ghee/oil. Once it’s hot, add cumin seeds and a bay leaf.
When the cumin seeds turn brown and fragrant, add the rice and lentils with 6 cups of water, salt, and turmeric.
Pressure cook, and then it’s done!
Whenever I make this savory rice and lentil porridge, I typically eat it on its own, but that’s because I usually make it when this is the only thing I can eat. If you’re making this as part of a meal, you can really serve it with anything as you’d do with rice. You can serve it with a meat-based curry, vegetables, and/or a side of achar (Indian pickles). I hope you love this hot lentil rice dish!
More Indian Recipes:
- 1 cup basmati rice soaked for 15-30 minutes
- ½ cup small yellow lentils moong dal, soaked for 15-30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil of choice
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Ghee for serving
- Soak the basmati rice and small yellow lentils (moong dal) in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Press the sauté button, then add the ghee or oil. Allow it a minute to heat up, then add cumin seeds and the bay leaf. When the cumin seeds turn brown, add the rice and lentils (moong dal) along with the 6 cups of water, salt and turmeric.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Serve each bowl with a spoonful of ghee and a pinch of salt.
- This recipe is easily customizable, so feel free to add ginger, garlic, green chilies or more spices if you wish.
- You can make this porridge as thick or as thin as you’d like. If you prefer a thinner consistency, just add more water at the end. Also, if you are re-heating the khichdi the next day then you will need to thin it out as it thickens over time.
- I highly recommend topping your bowl with a spoonful of ghee and a pinch of salt before eating.
- *My original recipe (from my cookbook) called for a 20 minute cook time, however, I’ve found that it works just as well with a shorter cook time so I have updated the post.
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