Kitchari is a delicious Ayurvedic porridge that’s made from rice and lentils. This dish is comforting, nutritious, full of warming spices, and highly customizable. This Instant-Pot-friendly recipe is also 1-pot as well as 30-minute! We’ll show you exactly how to make it.
What is Kitchari?
Kitchari, also known as Khichuri or Khichri (or Kichdi), is an Indian dish that has ancient roots. In 300 BC, an Indian statesman and philosopher named Chanukya described a balanced dish made of rice, lentils, and oil or ghee (source).
Kitchari is a dish that contains rice and lentils, often moong dal. It is usually spiced with turmeric, ginger, and other spices. Kitchari is well-known in Ayurvedic Medicine for its detoxification properties and ability to balance the three doshas.
Kitchari: How to make it?
To begin, toast cumin and mustard seeds with coconut or avocado oils to give them more flavor and nuttiness.
We then add turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and garam masala to give it a vibrant color, while carrots provide a sweet, springy addition. We use water for the liquids (which is more traditionally done) as well as light coconut milk to add a creamy component.
The Instant Pot cooks the rice and dal in 4 minutes. (No soaking is required!) The Instant Pot will be your best friend for weeknight cooking.
If you don’t own an Instant Pot, that’s fine too! Moong dal can be soaked overnight. Follow our stovetop instructions.
- Coconut or avocado oil 1 Tbsp (or coconut milk if oil-free).
- Cumin seeds: 2 tsp (or half the amount of ground cumin).
- Mustard powder or one teaspoon of whole mustard seeds
- Fresh ginger, finely chopped: 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Half a medium carrot lengthways, thinly slice
- 1 cup Basmati White Rice
- Kitchari is usually made with mung beans.
- Cardamom ground to 1/2 teaspoon
- Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- Add more turmeric to your taste.
- Add more salt to taste.
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- Half cup coconut milk ( optional for creaminess and richness // add more water to the recipe if you omit)
- 1 to 2 Tbsp Coconut aminos ( optional for depth of flavor)
Optional FOR SERVING
- Lemon or lime juice
- Kale steamed (or any other roasted or steamed vegetables)
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Naan (or gluten-free)
- Green Curry Paste
- Turn the SAUTE function on LOW in an Instant pot of 6 quarts (or larger). (On the Duo Nova, press the saute key a few times until it says “low.” Once the oil is hot, add the coconut oil or avocado oil. If you are using coconut milk instead of oil, press “CANCEL.” Add cumin and mustard seeds. Stir until fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for coconut aminos. This includes ginger, carrots, rice, moong daal, cardamom garam masala, cumin turmeric, salt, seawater, and light coconut cream (optional // If you don’t want to use coconut milk, add more water). Stir well to combine.
- Seal the lid by turning it to the seal position. Pressure cook for 4 minutes on HIGH (it may take up to 10 minutes for the Instant Pot’s pressure to build before cooking). After the timer has gone off, allow the steam to release for 10 minutes naturally. Then, manually release the remaining tension. You can quickly remove the stress if you are in a rush.
- Stir in coconut aminos if you want to add more flavor. Add more salt to taste for a stronger flavor. Coconut aminos can be added for a deeper flavor. Cumin is good for smoky flavor. Garam masala has a clove and warming flavor.
- Serve with roasted or steamed vegetables (sweet potatoes are a favorite!). Garnish with fresh cilantro, lemon, or lime. We like to serve it with naan and homemade green curry sauce.
- Fresh is best. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for one month. Stirring frequently on the stovetop will warm it up.