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Healing Ayurvedic Kitchari / Khichdi Recipe

This Instant Pot Kitchari  / Khichdi recipe is a traditional Indian super food made of mung beans and rice. This yummy, healthy food is packed with flavors and nutrients. You can eat kitchari as part of a cleanse or on its own when you want a  healthy, easy to eat meal that can feed the whole family. We love serving kitchari after the big holiday meals or after one of our family members is sick to help reset our digestive systems with a meal that’s easy on the tummy.

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khichdi

This Recipe's Index

What is Kitchari?

Kitchari or Khichdi is an Indian super food featured during panchakarma, which is a therapeutic cleansing process used in Ayurveda to remove excess imbalances (doshas) from the body. 

It is a rice and mung bean based dish with a porridge like texture that forms a complete protein while still being easy to digest.  When eaten with other easy to digest vegetables, kitchari forms a full, one-pot meal perfect for recovering from illnesses or from overindulging during the holidays.

Instant Pot Kitchari Video Recipe

Kitchari Benefits

This Kitchari is full of great tasting and healthy ingredients. It uses whole foods, such as rice and yellow mung. It also uses turmeric and ginger, which both have some good health benefits. To make it extra healthy, you can choose to make it using oils instead of butter. 

You can use kitchari as part of a cleanse to help reset your digestive system. This can help you feel better and help you recover from overindulging during the holiday season.

Kitchari

 

 

Khichdi Cleanse

The kitchari cleanse (panchakarma) is an eating plan that helps you reset your eating habits and help give your body a break from hard to digest foods and meals. The cleanse focuses around eating only a few easy to digest foods, including kitchari itself. 

On the cleanse, you will reset your stomach. This is particularly good following the holidays when you may have overindulged. The cleanse may also help remove toxins from your body. 

This is a calorie restrictive diet, which means if you are on a special diet for health reasons, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about it before starting. But you can certainly enjoy kitchari without fully committing to the cleanse.

kitchari

Kitchari Ingredients

Kitchari is similar to our Mujadara or Dal Tadka Recipe since they all use rice and lentils. To make this great tasting, healthy food, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Ghee or oil 
  • Cumin seeds
  • Ginger 
  • Turmeric 
  • Basmati rice - you can use another medium grain rice if you don’t have basmati.
  • Yellow mung 
  • Water 
  • Salt - to taste
  • Optional ingredients - veggies such as carrots, peas, cauliflower, beans, spinach, or kale; Garam masala 

Instant Pot Kitchari

We love using the Instant Pot to make kitchari quickly and easily. Here are the steps you need to follow to make kitchari in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Kitchari Instructions

Before starting, thoroughly rinse the rice and yellow mung and soak them for at least 15 minutes. Heat the inner pot of the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add in the ghee or oil and allow it to heat.

Once the ghee is melted or the oil is hot, temper it with cumin seeds and ginger. Give it all a stir.

Next, add the rice, yellow mung, turmeric, water, and salt.  If you plan to add veggies, add them now, it is optional. Cancel saute mode and close the lid.

Set the valve to sealing and pressure cook for 6 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally when done. 

Instant Pot Kitchari Instructions

Serve the kitchari in a bowl or plate. Add an additional teaspoon of ghee or vegan butter to drizzle on top and some garam masala if you like.

You can serve it alongside yogurt, lemon slices, pickles, yogurt, pappadum, lassi, buttermilk, or kefir.

How to make Kitchari on stove top pressure cooker

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make the kitchari on the stove top. To do so, soak the rice and yellow mung for at least 15 minutes and rinse the rice. Once they are ready, heat oil or ghee in the stove top pressure cooker.

  • After the ghee or oil is hot, temper it with cumin and ginger until aromatic.
  • Next add the rice, lentils, turmeric and salt. If you plan to add veggies, add them now. Close the lid and pressure cook on high heat for upto 4-5 whistles.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release..
  • Serve in a bowl or plate alongside lemon slices, pickles, yogurt, pappadum, lassi, buttermilk, or kefir. You can also add an additional teaspoon of ghee or vegan butter to drizzle on top along with some garam masala. 

Kitchari

 

Pro tips and tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to make the best kitchari possible:

  • rinse the rice and lentils thoroughly.
  • Always soak the  rice and lentils for at least 15 minutes 
  • If doing a cleanse, make sure you only eat approved foods for the cleanse.
  • To make this vegan, use oil or vegan butter instead of ghee.

Can I add vegetables to my kitchari? 

If you are considering doing a detox, the less you add the better. If you would like to add veggies, you can add 1 1/2 cups of veggies to this recipe and pressure cook it altogether. 

Some of  our favorite options include:

  • carrots
  • peas
  • cauliflower
  • beans
  • spinach
  • kale

What can I serve with Kitchari?

If you plan to do a kitchari cleanse, you should be careful what you pair with it. Easily to digest vegetables, such as leafy greens and carrots. You can also serve it with homemade yogurt.

If you are not doing a cleanse, you can serve with lemon slices, pickles, yogurt, pappadum, lassi, buttermilk, or kefir.

Or, if you want, you can serve with naan, roti, or other dinner rolls. You could add additional vegetables to the pot to cook with the rice too.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this ahead of time, but we recommend making it fresh the day you want to serve it. The reason is that the dish can dry out when stored. But if you want to make it ahead, you can. It makes a great lunch or a really easy weeknight dinner.

How to store Kitchari?

You can store kitchari easily in the refrigerator. Before storing, allow the food to cool down a bit. Once it is no longer steaming, place the kitchari into an air tight container. You can store it in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. You could also store the meal in individual containers to pack with your family when they go to work or school.

We recommend not freezing this dish. The texture can get a bit weird when frozen.

How to reheat Kitchari

The refrigerator tends to dry the kitchari /khichdi up a bit. Before reheating, add a small amount of water, 1 to 2 tablespoons should do, to help rehydrate the rice. You can add more if needed, but we recommend adding in 1 tablespoon increments.

You can reheat on a low heat on the stove top. Place the amount you want into a small pot. You could also reheat in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through.

Kitchari Recipe

Can I make it vegan?

Yes! You can easily make this moong dal khichdi / kitchari recipe vegan. To do so, use oil or vegan butter in place of ghee. You can add additional vegetables if you like to make it even healthier.

Is it gluten-free?

Kitchari is a gluten free meal perfect for anyone. It is a rice based dish. You can include it in many special diets, including gluten-free and vegan diets.

Made it, tag us!

Did you make this kitchari /khichdi recipe? Take a quick pic and share on Instagram! Tag us @dbellyrulesdmind!

You can find more rice recipes here. If you love using mung when cooking, do check our Oven Roasted Whole Mung and Sprouted Mung Bean Salad.

Kitchari Recipe

kitchari

Kitchari Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes

This Kitchari recipe is a traditional Indian super food made of mung beans and rice. This yummy, healthy food is packed with flavors and nutrients. You can eat kitchari as part of a cleanse or on its own when you want a  healthy, easy to eat meal that can feed the whole family. We love serving kitchari after the big holiday meals or after one of our family members is sick to help reset our digestive systems with a meal that’s easy on the tummy.

Ingredients

For Kitchari

  • Ghee / oil 2 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger 1 inch grated
  • Turmeric ½ teaspoon
  • Basmati rice 1 cup
  • Yellow mung 2 cups
  • Water 7 cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee / vegan butter 1 teaspoon to garnish

Optional ingredients if you want to add

  • Diced veggies 1 ½ cup
  • Garam masala 1 teaspoon

Instructions

Soaking

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice and yellow mung and soak the lentils for at least 15 minutes.

Instant Pot Kitchari

  1. Heat the inner pot of the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add in the ghee or oil and allow it to heat.
  2. Once the ghee is melted or the oil is hot, temper it with cumin seeds and ginger. Give it all a stir.
  3. Next, add the rice, yellow mung, turmeric, water, and salt. If you plan to add diced veggies, add them now. Cancel saute mode and close the lid.
  4. Set the valve to sealing and pressure cook for 6 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally when done. 

How to make Kitchari on stove top pressure cooker

  1. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make the kitchari on the stove top. Once the rice and yellow mung are soaked and ready, heat oil or ghee in the stove top pressure cooker.
  2. After the ghee or oil is hot, temper it with cumin and ginger until aromatic.
  3. Next add the rice, lentils, turmeric and salt. If you plan to add veggies, add them now. Close the lid and pressure cook on high heat for upto 4-5 whistles.
  4. Allow the pressure to naturally release..

Serving the Kitchari

Serve the kitchari in a bowl or plate. Add an additional teaspoon of ghee or vegan butter to drizzle on top. If you want to sprinkle some garam masala, you can sprinkle it now.

You can serve it alongside lemon slices, pickles, yogurt, pappadum, lassi, buttermilk, or kefir.

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