Instant Pot Kitchari Recipe – Easy, Vegan & Gluten-free

Kitchari recipe pressure cooker

Video Kitchari recipe pressure cooker

Learn how to make Kitchari in your Instant Pot, a traditional Indian recipe for basmati rice with red lentils or Mung Dal that is easy to digest, full of fiber and hot spices. Perfect for the cold season. Go to recipe

Instant Pot Kitchari flyby Meet Kitchari

, the best Indian homemade food! Think of it as Indian chicken noodle soup.

Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a delicious, warm and super nutritious combination of mung beans or fast-cooked lentils and white basmati rice with lots of spices. It is the perfect food to hug the soul for rainy days when you are a little under the weather.

The unique blend of spices used in kitchari not only adds flavor, but is also wonderfully warm and balanced, perfect for autumn and winter and simply delicious. Kitchari can be made in many different ways and has references dating back thousands of years. But despite its complex taste, it’s so easy to make!

You start by sautéing the spices along with some onions, chili, ginger and garlic to increase their fragrance and improve their flavor! Then add your rice and dal, vegetables and some liquid. Cook it for 3 minutes in the instant pot, let the steam release and go.

Aerial shot of basmati rice dal split mung beans and red lentils next to a bowl of water

Kitchari is a preparation similar to dal and rice risotto that is usually seasoned very lightly and served as a light meal when you are sick or simply to give your belly a break with a simple nutritious meal. The basic version is slightly bland with only 1 or 2 spices and keeps to make it a light meal. You can add different spices, some vegetables, tomato, etc. to make it a hearty meal. This recipe is adapted from my version of the book. Also check out my abundant version of green moong and brown rice on the blog. Khichdi is usually cooked too much to be more of a puree for easy digestion. I cook it for less time so that the grains and lentils retain their shape (as seen in the photo of this post) and a few more minutes for a puree, when I want it more porridge style.


The unique blend of spices used in kitchari is

  • there not only to add flavor but also wonderfully warm, balancing and anti-inflammatory spices, and the blend is simply delicious.
  • Together with the warm spices, onion, ginger, chili and garlic form the basis of this rice kitchari recipe
  • . – Basmati rice is the best choice here. Like split mung beans, white basmati rice has been husked, making it fairly easy to digest.
  • Use red or gold lentils: any quick-cooked lentils or split mung beans

Tips and variations:

  • You can add any vegetable mix! Think carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and spinach. Use any mixture you like.
  • Make sure you don’t burn the spices or your kitchari will be bitter.
  • White basmati rice can be substituted for other whole grains such as quinoa and amaranth.
  • Feel free to play with spices and vegetables, according to what you enjoy and what is in season.

How to make Instant Pot Kitchari

<img src="" alt="

red lentils and rice soaked

in water” />

Wash lentils and rice and then soak them in warm water for 15 minutes.

 onions, garlic and spices being fried in an instant pot to make Kitchari Heat the instant pot in stir-fry. Add oil and let it heat up. Start by adding cumin or mustard seeds to the oil and cook for half a minute.

Add onion, chili, garlic and a pinch of salt (and bay leaves or curry leaves) and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add the ginger and spices and mix. Finally, add the tomato and cook for 3 minutes. Crush the larger pieces and let add 2 tablespoons of water to deglaze halfway.

soaked rice and lentils added to Instant Pot to make Kitchari Drain and add the lentils and rice. Add water, salt, vegetables and mix well to pick up the stuck pieces.

Kitchari simmering in an instant pot

Close the lid and pressure cook over high heat for 5 minutes for porridge and low pressure for 3 minutes for a bowl of rice with more spices. Once the cooking cycle is over, quickly release the pressure after 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lemon. Taste and adjust the salt and flavor.

fresh cilantro sprinkled on top of kitchari

Best of all, kitchari is great for meal preparation or freezing. You can make a large batch of this lentil rice dish, store it in the fridge for days, and just heat it up when you’re ready to eat it!

a bowl of Instant Pot Kitchari with a spoon


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