Kitchari/khichdi is a one pot rice and lentil meal with many variations and the ways it is served. Often is it a light cleansing food made for days you want to rest your digestion, or just a one pot dish for a quick meal. Depending on the region, it can be an elaborate preparation, comfort food or a gourmet meal as well. Khichdi means a mess and thats what the dish generally is. A well cooked mess or mixed up rice and lentils (and vegetables if using)
The lighter version of khichdi with mung dal (split mung bean) and basmati rice can be found in my book. That version has been in the family for generations, and takes just a few minutes in the pressure cooker.
For the version today I use whole green mung beans and brown basmati rice. You can cook it just till the beans and rice are tender for a stew or longer for a creamier kitchari.
Do you use a pressure cooker? If not, why not? Pressure cooking has been used for Indian food for ages with the basic stove top pressure cookers. Pressure Cookers these days are safer and easier to use, programmable and versatile with functions to use as slow-cooker, making yogurt etc.
More one pot stews/meals from the blog
- Bisi Bele Bath Pressure Cooker Split Pea Brown Rice Soup
- Pressure Cooker Curried Chickpea stuffed Acorn Squash and…
- Curried Chickpea Rice Pulao – One Pot Pilaf
I used an Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker (IP) for this recipe. See notes for cooking in stove top pressure cooker or in a saucepan.
Soak the beans and rice for atleast 15 minutes. Blend the onions, tomato, garlic, ginger, spices with a few tbsp of water until puree and keep aside.
Start the IP on saute at normal heat.
When hot, add oil to the IP insert, let the oil heat up for a few seconds, then add cumin seeds. Roast the seeds for half a minute or until fragrant.
Add the tomato onion puree carefully, stir and cook until the puree thickens and smells roasted. 15 to 17 minutes.
Switch the saute to off.
Drain the beans and rice and add to the IP. Add water, salt, lemon juice. Mix.
Close the lid. Press Manual and adjust time for 10 minutes.
The IP will start, and show “On” and then count down from 10 minutes when the pressure has reached.
Once done, let the pressure release naturally. Or if you are in a hurry. Try the quick release after 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and spice. The kitchari is soupy when just done and it continues to thicken as it cools. If you end up with soupier kitchari everytime, use less water (3.5 cups)and the grains and beans can absorb liquid differently for several reasons.
Serve hot with crackers or toasted bread.
- ½ cup mung beans (dry whole green mung beans)
- ½ cup brown basmati rice
- ½ tsp oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ to ½ tsp cayenne
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 4 cups water ( ½ cup less for thicker)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¾ to 1¼ tsp salt
- Soak the beans and rice for atleast 15 minutes. Soak at this step as the next few steps take 15 to 20 minutes
- Blend the onions, tomato, garlic, ginger, spices with a few tbsp of water to a smooth puree and keep aside.
- Start the Instant Pot (IP) on saute at normal heat.
- When hot, add oil, let the oil heat up for a few seconds, then add cumin seeds. Roast the seeds for half a minute or until fragrant.
- Add the puree carefully, stir and cook until the puree thickens and smells roasted. 15 to 17 minutes. Switch the saute to off.
- Drain the beans and rice and add to the IP. Add water, salt, lemon juice. Mix. Add chopped veggies if you like.
- Close the lid. Press Manual and adjust time for 10 minutes. (or pressure cook for 10 minutes after the pressure has released). * Brown Basmati Rice soaked for 15 minutes will cook in the 10 minute time. You might need to cook longer depending on the rice used (15 to 20 mins).
- The IP will start heating, and show "On" and then count down the minutes when the pressure has reached.
- Once done, let the pressure release naturally. Or if you are are in a hurry. Try the quick release after 5 to 7 minutes. * If the rice or beans are not cooked to preference, you can cook them on saute until they are tender.
- Taste and adjust salt and spice. Serve hot with crackers or toasted bread.
To make this in a saucepan: follow all the steps in till Step 6 . Add 4.5 cups of water, Cover the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes then reduce to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir once in between. Add more water if needed and cook longer if needed.
To make this in a stove top Pressure cooker: Cook all the steps in a pressure cooker over medium heat through step 6. Add the beans, rice and water, close the lid, Pressure cook for 10 minutes once the pressure has reached.(or 1 whistle on high and 8 minutes on medium low heat)..