Khichuri Red Lentils


Khichuri Red Lentils

Recipe type: Yield: Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

For the Instant Pot: A khichuri or khichdi is a classic rice and lentil mélange, prepared differently all over India. This particular red lentil variation is from Bengal. It is distinct in its use of fried onions to imbue rich flavor. Cauliflower, potatoes and green peas round out this hearty, comforting dish. It is done in less than 20 minutes of cooking time and topped with a beautiful drizzle of cumin-scented ghee.


4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
3/4 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
½ cup Basmati or kalajeera rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups cauliflower florets (about ½ head of cauliflower)
1 medium Yukon gold potato peeled and cubed
½ cup frozen green peas

1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
2 whole dried red chilies
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


  1. 1. Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode and add in the oil. After about a minute, add in the onions and sauté until they turn golden, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. 2. Add in the lentils, rice, ground cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper, salt and the turmeric.
  3. 3. Add in the cauliflower, potato, and 4 cups water, and stir well.
  4. 4. Close the lid and cook on Manual mode at high pressure for 4 minutes.
  5. 5. When cooking time is complete, allow natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then do a quick release for any residual pressure.
  6. 6. Open the lid and stir well. Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode and add in the green peas.
  7. 7. Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan, add in the cumin seeds, the crushed red pepper if using, and the whole dried red chilies. Cook until the mixture crackles and is fragrant, being careful not to burn the crushed red pepper.
  8. 8. Pour the ghee mixture over the khichuri. Gently stir.
  9. 9. Squeeze in the lime juice and garnish with cilantro before serving.

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