Easy Khichdi Recipe in an Instant Pot: Quick, Delicious Comfort Food

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a comforting, nutritious meal that’s quick to prepare? Look no further than khichdi, an iconic Indian dish known for its simplicity and heartwarming flavors. Traditionally made with rice and lentils, khichdi is often hailed as the ultimate comfort food in many Indian households.

Using your Instant Pot, you can whip up this wholesome dish in no time. The magic of pressure cooking ensures perfectly cooked grains and legumes while locking in all the rich flavors. Whether you’re new to Indian cuisine or just seeking a hassle-free meal option, this Instant Pot khichdi recipe will become your go-to for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.

Ingredients

Gathering all your ingredients before you start cooking will make preparing khichdi in an Instant Pot a breeze. Below is the list of main ingredients and spices you’ll need.

Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup split yellow moong dal (lentils), rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Equipment Needed

To prepare khichdi in your Instant Pot, you’ll need a few essential tools to ensure a smooth cooking process. Here’s what you’ll require:

  • Instant Pot: The star of the show. An Instant Pot will help you cook khichdi quickly and evenly.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precise measurements are crucial for achieving the perfect texture and flavor balance.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: You’ll need these to chop vegetables efficiently.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Use this for stirring ingredients within the Instant Pot without scratching its surface.
  • Colander or Sieve: Essential for rinsing rice and lentils thoroughly before cooking.

Preparation Before Cooking

Before you start cooking khichdi in your Instant Pot, it is important to properly prepare the ingredients. This ensures a smooth and efficient cooking process.

Washing and Soaking

  1. Wash Rice and Lentils: Measure 1 cup of basmati rice and 1/2 cup of yellow moong dal. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water using a colander or sieve until the water runs clear.
  2. Soak: Place the washed rice and lentils in a bowl and cover with enough water to submerge them by at least an inch. Soak for 20-30 minutes. This helps soften them, ensuring even cooking.

Chopping Vegetables

  1. Gather Ingredients:
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small potato
  • Optional: any other vegetables like cauliflower, beans, or spinach
  1. Chop Vegetables:
  • Peel the carrot and potato.
  • Dice the carrot and potato into small cubes.
  • If using fresh peas, shell them.
  1. Prepare Other Ingredients:
  • Finely chop one medium onion.
  • Mince two cloves of garlic.

Cooking Instructions

Follow these steps to create a delicious khichdi in your Instant Pot.

Setting Up the Instant Pot

  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Ensure all ingredients are washed, soaked, and chopped as detailed in the previous sections.
  2. Turn On the Instant Pot: Plug in your Instant Pot and press the ‘Sauté’ button. Allow it to heat up for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add Ghee or Oil: Add 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil into the pot. Let it melt and heat up slightly.
  4. Sauté Spices: Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them splutter for about 30 seconds until they release their aroma.
  5. Add Aromatics: Toss in finely chopped onions (about 1 large onion) and sauté until they become translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  6. Incorporate Garlic and Ginger: Add minced garlic (3 cloves) and grated ginger (1 inch piece). Sauté for another minute.

Adding Vegetables, Rice, Lentils and Pressure Cooking

  1. Add Vegetables: Stir in chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, potatoes, or any other preferred veggies totaling about 2 cups.
  2. Mix Rice and Lentils: Add soaked basmati rice (1 cup) and yellow moong dal (½ cup). Stir well to combine with the sautéed mixture.
  3. Seasoning Time: Sprinkle turmeric powder (½ teaspoon), salt (to taste), and any additional spices like garam masala if desired.
  4. Pour Water or Broth: Pour in 4 cups of water or vegetable broth into the pot, ensuring all ingredients are submerged evenly.
  5. Seal the Instant Pot Lid: Close the lid securely on your Instant Pot, making sure that the vent is set to ‘Sealing’.
  6. Pressure Cook Settings: Press ‘Cancel’ to stop sautéing then select ‘Pressure Cook’ mode on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  7. Natural Release Process: Once cooking time is complete allow natural pressure release for about 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure by turning vent knob carefully from sealing position towards venting position using an oven mitt/glove if necessary.

Serving Suggestions

Enhance the flavors of your Khichdi with thoughtful garnishing and perfect accompaniments for a wholesome meal experience.

Garnishing

Top your Khichdi with fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of color and freshness. Add a dollop of ghee to enhance the richness. For an extra crunch, sprinkle some fried onions or crushed papad on top. A squeeze of lemon juice can also add a zesty twist.

Accompaniments

Pair your Khichdi with cooling yogurt or raita to balance the spices. Serve it alongside pickle varieties like mango or lime for tangy contrast. You can also enjoy it with crispy papadums and a side salad made from cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions dressed lightly in salt and pepper.

Storage Tips

Proper storage of your khichdi ensures it stays fresh and delicious for future meals. Here are some tips to help you store your khichdi efficiently:

Cooling Down

Before storing, allow the khichdi to cool down to room temperature. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can lead to a soggy texture.

Choosing Containers

Use airtight containers that are either glass or BPA-free plastic. These will keep the flavors intact and prevent any unwanted odors from seeping in.

Refrigeration

Store the cooled khichdi in the refrigerator if you plan to consume it within 3-4 days. Label each container with the date so you can keep track of its freshness.

Freezing for Longer Storage

If you want to store khichdi for a longer period, freezing is an excellent option. Divide the khichdi into portion-sized containers or freezer bags. Ensure they are sealed tightly to avoid freezer burn.

Reheating Instructions

When ready to eat, reheat refrigerated khichdi in a microwave-safe dish or on the stovetop:

  • Microwave: Add a splash of water and cover loosely; heat on medium power until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  • Stovetop: Transfer to a saucepan; add a bit of water and warm over low heat, stirring until heated evenly.

Following these tips will ensure your khichdi remains as tasty as when freshly made.

Conclusion

Using an Instant Pot to make khichdi simplifies the cooking process while maintaining its rich flavors and comforting essence. The detailed steps in this guide ensure you can easily prepare, store, and reheat your khichdi without any hassle. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to Indian cuisine, the efficiency of the Instant Pot paired with these helpful tips will make your culinary experience seamless and enjoyable. Embrace this modern method for a timeless dish and enjoy the convenience it brings to your kitchen.

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