This comforting turmeric-spiced rice and lentil porridge is my go-to recipe when someone in my family is feeling under the weather. I personally find khichdi to be a very soothing and healing food, especially when topped with lots of ghee.
This Instant Pot Khichdi is one of the recipes in my Instant Pot Cookbook: Indian Food Under Pressure! It’s so 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.
In many Indian households, this dish is often prepared for the very young, the sick and the elderly. When I came home from the hospital after giving birth to Tony, my mom made me this porridge every day for a week (along with other healing foods) because it’s thought to be easy on the stomach. When Tony starting eating solids, khichdi was one of his first foods and he loved it!
Khichdi is prepared slightly differently depending on what region you’re from in India. Below is the way 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.
Here are several reasons why you might want to give khichdi a try:
- you feel a cold coming on.
- you’ve been eating terrible 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.
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 – like 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!
- 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 20 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.