Instant Pot Kitchari Recipe

Published on June 16th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front View of Instant Pot Kitchari

The making of Kitchari originates in South Asia and dates back thousands of years. Kitchari is the process of combining mung dal and rice, cooked with a mixture of spices such as cumin, mustard, coriander & fennel seeds, mixed with fresh ginger & turmeric. Some add in other ingredients such as vegetables to Kitchari or coconut milk. The Kitchari is a dish created for an Ayurveda diet. Ayurveda uses food for healing the body using a natural & holistic approach. Ayur, meaning (life), Veda, meaning (knowledge). Ayurveda's primary benefits are to aid in pressing the reset button on the body. It's known to help cleanse the body, encourages healthy weight loss with its high fiber and protein contents as well aids in healthy digestion, and promotes healthy hair & skin as it helps to heal the body from the inside out, ingredients such as turmeric help to reduce inflammation in the body. All this helps to align the body and is typically eaten for breakfast first thing in the morning. 

This recipe for Kitchari uses an instant pot to help cook all the ingredients quickly; you can make a batch to last you 3-4 days, so you can reheat it with a bit of added water to thin it out & have it instantly. The added vegetables will be celery, spinach & sliced hot peppers to aid digestion. Garnish the dish with sliced scallions and parsley. Any vegetables can be used for this recipe, and you can alter and play around with the spice measurements to suit your particular pallet. Water is used as the liquid to cook the Kitchari, making it completely vegan and helping start your morning out right, aligning your body simultaneously. 

 

Can you lose weight eating kitchari?

Studies have shown that Kitchari has been known to help with weight loss. This is because its ingredients are high in fiber, helping the digestion of foods. Although science hasn't proven this fact, the results will differ for each person. 

How long can you keep Kitchari in the fridge?

3-4 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Why is kitchari healthy?

The health benefits can include the reduction of inflammation due to the properties of turmeric. In addition, it helps cleanse and detox the body by promoting healthy digestion and can help remove toxins from the body. Kitchari is used in India to feed babies and the elderly and a meal for those feeling Ill. It's like the chicken soup of India. 

Author: Jennifer Dodd
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Time & Serves

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
19 mins
Total Time
39 mins
Serves
6 persons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mung Dal, or Yellow Lentils 

  • 1/2 cup Long Grain White Rice 

  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil 

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds 

  • 1 teaspoon Brown Mustard Seeds 

  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds 

  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds 

  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric Powder 

  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, peeled & minced

  • 2 stocks Celery, diced 

  • 1/2 Hot Pepper, seeds removed and minced 

  • 2 cups Baby Spinach Leaves 

  • 5 cups Water 

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt 

  • 2 Scallions, thinly sliced 

  • 2 teaspoons Italian Parsley, chopped. This can be replaced with cilantro if desired. 

Instructions

Turn your instant pot onto the sauté setting on low, add in the coconut oil & let it heat up for 2 minutes

Rinse the mung dal and rice under cold water using a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear and not cloudy.  

Add the cumin, fennel, coriander and mustard seeds into the pot, stir using a heatproof spatula until the seeds start to make a popping sound. 

Add in the turmeric, celery, hot pepper & ginger, sauté for 30 seconds, and stir in the mung dal & rice, mixing all the spices. 

Stir in the water, attach the lid and change the instant pot setting to cook on high heat. Set it for 5 minutes; it takes about 10 minutes for the pot to pressurize. 

After the timer goes off on the instant pot, allow it to depressurize naturally, this will take a few minutes but will let the kitchari be adequately cooked. 

Once the pressure is released, carefully open the lid, stir the spinach to wilt, and season with sea salt. 

Either serve at this stage, portioning it out into bowls and garnishing with scallions and parsley. If saving for later, allow the kitchari to cool & place it into the fridge in an airtight container. 

Jennifer Dodd
Author:

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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Keywords
instant pot kitchari, ayurvedic recipe, how to make, vegetables, brown rice

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