Instant Pot Kichidi

Active time: 30 min. Total time: 45 min.
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

This comforting dish is nutty, earthy, and slightly lemony. It’s often given to people who are sick and is packed with nutrients thanks to the lentils, turmeric, and ginger. For optimal flavor, use cumin seeds rather than ground cumin, and temper them in ghee or oil. In a pinch, split yellow peas also make a good base. 


  • 3 tablespoons ghee, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño chile (from 1 large [1 3/8 oz.] chile)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (from 1 [1-in.] piece)
  • 1(2 1/2-in.) cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup dried split yellow lentils
  • 3bay leaves
  • 2 3/4 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • Fresh mint leaves

How to Make It

Step 1

Select SAUTÉ setting on a 6-quart programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow to preheat. Add 2 tablespoons of the ghee to cooker, and heat until very hot and fragrant, about 90 seconds. Add jalapeño, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of the cumin seeds; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is fragrant and cumin seeds darken, about 45 seconds. Add rice, lentils, bay leaves, and 2 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, stirring well to coat in spice mixture. Pour water over rice mixture. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position.

Step 2

Select RICE setting on LOW pressure for 12 minutes. (It will take 5 to 15 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

Step 3

While rice cooks, heat remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a small skillet over high until very hot, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 teaspoon cumin seeds; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and darkened, about 45 seconds. Immediately remove from heat, and set aside.

Step 4

Stir together yogurt, lime juice and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Step 5

Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 5 to 15 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker, and turn off cooker. Let stand 10 minutes.

Step 6

Spoon kichidi evenly into 4 shallow bowls; top evenly with yogurt mixture and cumin mixture. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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