Here's a recipe for a savory concoction of rice and spices with the Instant Pot, in Indian style. With a short, information-packed video and step-by-step directions, learn how to make Masala Khichdi with the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Khichdi is a healthy and nutritious option that is packed with protein and a host of nutrients. You can prepare it with or without the spices and either way, it is one easy-to-digest vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free recipe that fits well for any age group.
With a perfect balance of rice, lentils, vegetables, and spices, this can be your power-packed breakfast option because it has a full serving of fiber, carbs, and protein.
I like the fact that the cooking time is really short with this recipe and it's easy to prepare it as a one-pot dish for 4 people.
I realize that vegetable is a fairly generic term, but that is the beauty of it! You can add all kinds of veggies based on your or your family's preference. I try and mix up the veggies to get a colorful Khichdi that will kindle any appetite.
Inspired by my dalia khichdi, this dish pairs great with this amazing lemon pickle recipe. But it can also be a standalone recipe without any pairings. The trick is in adjusting the spice level to suit your taste.
Preparing the Khichdi using the Instant Pot instead of the traditional pressure cooker method is a game-changer.
After you notice how easy and clutter-free it can be, you will not try it any other way...
- Rice: I have tried this with Jasmine rice as well as Sona masoori rice and they both work equally well. Be sure to adjust the water level based on the kind of rice you use. For this recipe, the measurements are based on white Sona Masoori rice.
- Vegetables: As I mentioned before, you can add any variety of vegetables to this recipe. I used carrots and peas, to keep it simple. Other great additions are cauliflower florets, potatoes, corn, etc.
- Masoor dal: Masoor dal is also known as red lentils. This is perfect for the khichdi recipe. Apart from providing nice color contrast, the red lentils are also the source of protein in this dish.
- Spices: Freshness of spice matters a lot for a recipe such as this one. Use fresh spices like red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, and turmeric powder.
Check the recipe card for exact measurements.
Add oil to the inner pot in Instant Pot and press the saute setting. As the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.
Follow up by adding onions, grated ginger, and green chilies. Stir constantly for a minute.
Add tomatoes and continue to stir for at least a minute.
Add all the spices and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes.
Now add all veggies and salt and continue to mix them well to get an even coat of spices on the veggies.
Add rinsed rice, lentil, and water. Give it a good stir one last time.
Close the lid of the instant pot and turn the steam release handle to the sealing position.
Select the pressure cooking option and set the time for 7 minutes.
When time is up open the lid using natural release.
Instant Pot Khichdi is ready! Mix and serve hot with your favorite chips or Indian pickles!
Types of rice and lentils
To make Instant Pot Khichdi, short-grain rice is the best bet. However, I have used Jasmine rice for this recipe, because it cooks easily and blends with the flavors better than most rice varieties, and brings the right consistency.
You could also try this with sona masoori brown rice. But be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
My other favorite lentil for this recipe is Moong Dal. Kichdo prepared with plain rice and moong dal are also best for babies because it is easy to digest and provide a burst of energy.
I have also tried variations with Masoor and Toor Dal (Split Red Gram) and they were all pretty good too. Regardless of which one you choose, the protein per serving is still pretty high.
Masoor Dal (Split Red Lentil) adds a bright color to the dish and hence ends up being the most common choice.
Khichdi in different languages
Here's a fun fact...this popular one-pot meal is called by different names and with slight variations. Although Khichdi is the most common, it is also called "Khichuri". In the southern parts of India, it is known as "Pongal" and the British call it "Kedgeree".
The answer is yes! Without any compromise in taste, Masala Khichdi can be prepared with plant-based oils. If you have not tried it that way, just follow my step-by-step directions and you will not be disappointed.
This vegetable khichdi stays good for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can also make khichdi without rice. Substitute the rice with wheat, dalia, quinoa, or millet. Just be sure to adjust the water ratio and the cooking time accordingly.
The best and authentic khichdi recipe calls a mushy and soft texture, served hot. But it really comes down to your preference. Like I mentioned before, using Jasmine rice helps in getting the consistency that I am going for.
If you are not using an Instant Pot, be sure to separate the boiled veggies from the water before you mix them.
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Instant Pot Khichdi
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium-size red or white onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 green chilies chopped (optional)
- 1 large tomato chopped
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup frozen corn
- 2 carrots chopped
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garam Masala powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Asafoetida - optional
- 1 cup rice - sona masoori rice or jasmine rice
- ½ cup masoor dal - Split Red Lentil
- 4 cups water - add 1 more if like a porridge consistency
- Add oil to inner pot in Instant Pot and press the saute setting.2 tablespoon coconut oil
- As the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Follow up by adding onions, grated ginger, and green chilies. Stir constantly for a minute.1 medium-size red or white onion chopped, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 2 green chilies chopped (optional)
- Add tomatoes and continue to stir for at least a minute.1 large tomato chopped
- Add all the spices and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes.¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon garam Masala powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- Now add all veggies and salt and continue to mix them well to get an even coat of spices on the veggies.¼ cup frozen peas, ¼ cup frozen corn, 2 carrots chopped
- Add rinsed rice, lentils, and water. Give it a good stir one last time.1 cup rice, ½ cup masoor dal, 4 cups water
- Close the lid of the instant pot and turn the steam release handle to the sealing position. Select the pressure cooking option and set the time for 7 minutes.
- When time is up open the lid using natural release.
- Instant Pot Masala Khichdi is ready! Mix and serve hot with your favorite chips or Indian pickles!
- The best and authentic khichdi recipe calls a mushy and soft texture, served hot. But it comes down to your preference.
- Using Jasmine rice helps in getting the consistency of khichdi.
- If you are not using an Instant Pot, be sure to separate the boiled veggies from the water before you mix them.