Easy Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi Recipe: A Flavorful Fusion Dish

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a warm, comforting meal that’s both nutritious and easy to prepare? Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi is your answer. This modern twist on the traditional Indian khichdi swaps out rice for protein-packed quinoa, making it a wholesome dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or a quick lunch.

Originating from Indian kitchens, khichdi is a beloved one-pot dish known for its simplicity and versatility. By using an Instant Pot, you’ll cut down on cooking time without sacrificing flavor. The addition of aromatic spices transforms this humble meal into a fragrant, savory delight that’s sure to become a staple in your recipe collection.


To prepare Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi, you will need the following ingredients, divided into two main categories: for the khichdi and for tempering. Each ingredient is vital to creating this delicious and nutritious dish.

For the Khichdi

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • ½ cup split yellow moong dal, rinsed well
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 dried red chili, broken
  • 8-10 curry leaves

Equipment Needed

Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is essential for cooking this masala quinoa khichdi. Ensure your Instant Pot is at least 6 quarts to accommodate all the ingredients comfortably.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial for replicating the perfect taste every time. Use measuring cups for the quinoa and vegetables, and measuring spoons for spices and seasonings.

Cutting Board and Knife

Prepare your vegetables with a sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife. This will ensure uniformity in your vegetable cuts and speed up your prep time.

Wooden Spoon or Spatula

To stir the ingredients without scratching your Instant Pot, use a wooden spoon or spatula. This will help in sautéing the spices and mixing the khichdi efficiently.


Rinse the quinoa thoroughly using a fine mesh strainer before cooking. This helps remove any bitterness from the quinoa.

Small Bowls

Small bowls are useful for pre-measuring and organizing your spices and other ingredients. This ensures a smooth and streamlined cooking process.

Preparation Steps

Follow these step-by-step instructions to prepare Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi efficiently and effortlessly.

Rinsing Ingredients

  1. Rinse Quinoa: Place 1 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under cold water for about 2-3 minutes. This step removes the natural coating, called saponin, which can make quinoa taste bitter.
  2. Rinse Lentils: Measure 1/2 cup of split yellow moong dal (lentils). Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
  3. Wash Vegetables: Wash all the vegetables you plan to use. Common choices include 1/2 cup of diced carrots, 1/2 cup of peas, 1/2 cup of diced potatoes, and 1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes.
  4. Prepare Fresh Ingredients: Rinse a handful of fresh cilantro leaves and set aside for garnishing.

Cooking the Khichdi

  1. Turn On the Instant Pot: Plug in your Instant Pot and press the “Sauté” button. Adjust to medium heat.
  2. Heat Oil: Add 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil to the Instant Pot. Allow it to heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Sauté Spices: Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until they begin to splutter.
  4. Add Aromatics: Add 1 finely chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of minced ginger, and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until onions turn translucent.
  5. Mix Vegetables: Add the diced carrots, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add Dry Spices: Mix in 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, and salt to taste. Sauté for an additional 1 minute.
  7. Add Quinoa and Lentils: Add the rinsed quinoa and lentils to the pot. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
  8. Add Water: Pour in 4 cups of water. Stir thoroughly to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
  9. Cook: Secure the Instant Pot lid. Set the valve to the “Sealing” position. Press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the timer for 7 minutes on high pressure.
  10. Release Pressure: Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the valve to “Venting” to release any remaining pressure.
  11. Final Stir: Open the lid and give the khichdi a good stir. Adjust salt and seasoning if necessary.
  12. Garnish: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro leaves on top before

Cooking Process

Transform the prepared ingredients into a hearty, flavorful Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi by following these concise steps.

Cooking the Khichdi

  1. Sauté Ingredients: Set the Instant Pot to ‘Sauté’ mode. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil, allowing it to heat up.
  2. Cook Aromatics: Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds. Once they sizzle, add 1 finely chopped onion. Sauté until golden brown.
  3. Add Vegetables: Incorporate 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 1 diced tomato, 1 chopped carrot, and 1/2 cup of chopped green beans. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables slightly soften.
  4. Mix in Quinoa and Lentils: Add the rinsed 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1/2 cup of yellow split moong dal (lentils). Stir to combine, ensuring the grains are well-coated with the spices.
  5. Spice it Up: Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, and salt to taste.
  6. Add Water and Pressure Cook: Pour in 4 cups of water. Give it a good stir. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to ‘Pressure Cook’ on high for 8 minutes.
  7. Release Pressure: Allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure. Open the lid carefully.

Finishing Touches

  1. Prepare the Temper: In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil. Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  2. Add Spices: Incorporate 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida (hing), and 2-3 dried red chilies. Sauté for a minute.
  3. Combine with Khichdi: Pour this temper over the cooked quinoa khichdi in the Instant Pot. Mix gently to combine the flavors.
  4. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving hot.

Serving Suggestions


To enhance the flavors of your Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi, serve it with these delicious accompaniments:

  • Yogurt: A bowl of fresh plain yogurt provides a cooling effect that complements the spicy khichdi.
  • Pickles: Indian pickles, such as mango pickle or lemon pickle, add a tangy and spicy burst of flavor.
  • Papadums: Crispy papadums offer an enjoyable texture contrast with the creamy khichdi.
  • Salad: A side salad of sliced cucumber, tomatoes, and onions with a sprinkle of chaat masala for an extra zest.


Elevate your Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi with these garnishes:

  • Fresh Cilantro: A handful of freshly chopped cilantro adds a burst of freshness and color.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serve with lemon wedges for an additional tangy flavor that diners can squeeze over their servings.
  • Fried Onions: Crispy fried onions provide a delightful crunch to each bite.
  • Ghee Drizzle: A spoonful of ghee drizzled on top of the khichdi before serving adds a rich and aromatic finish.

Beverage Pairings

  • Masala Chai: The warm spices of masala chai complement the flavors of the khichdi perfectly.
  • Lassi: A sweet or salted lassi offers a refreshing and creamy contrast.
  • Mint Lemonade: Fresh mint lemonade provides a zesty and refreshing drink that complements the rich spices in the khichdi.
  • Buttermilk: Known as chaas in Hindi, buttermilk helps in digestion and pairs well with spiced dishes.

Tips for the Perfect Khichdi

Choose High-Quality Ingredients

Start with fresh and high-quality ingredients. Use organic quinoa and lentils if possible to ensure the best flavor and nutrition. Fresh vegetables and aromatic spices will enhance the taste and make your khichdi exceptional.

Rinse Quinoa And Lentils Well

Rinse the quinoa and lentils under cold water thoroughly. This step removes excess starch and any impurities, preventing the khichdi from becoming sticky.

Use The Right Water Ratio

Maintain a proper water-to-quinoa-lentil ratio for perfectly cooked khichdi. Typically, use a 2:1 ratio of water to the combined quantity of quinoa and lentils. Adjust the water slightly if you prefer a thicker or more soupy consistency.

Sauté Spices For Enhanced Flavor

When using the Instant Pot’s sauté function, take the time to roast your spices well. Sautéing spices in oil or ghee releases their essential oils, deepening the flavor of the khichdi.

Don’t Rush The Cooking Process

Allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally. This gradual release ensures the grains and vegetables cook evenly and soak up the flavors beautifully.

Adjust The Seasonings

Taste your khichdi before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add more salt, a squeeze of lemon, or a touch of ghee to elevate the dish to your liking.

Garnish Generously

Elevate the presentation and flavor of your khichdi with generous garnishes such as fresh cilantro, fried onions, or a drizzle of ghee. These additions not only make the dish look appealing but also add varied textures and flavors.


Instant Pot Masala Quinoa Khichdi is a delightful fusion of tradition and modern convenience. By using an Instant Pot, you can enjoy a nutritious, flavorful meal in a fraction of the time. The blend of aromatic spices and wholesome ingredients makes it a versatile dish perfect for any occasion.

Remember to use high-quality ingredients and follow the preparation tips for the best results. Whether you’re serving it with yogurt, pickles, or a refreshing beverage like lassi, this dish is sure to impress. Enjoy the simplicity and rich flavors of this contemporary take on a classic favorite.

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