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Kitchari with Royal Red Rice (Instant Pot)

Updated: Oct 14, 2022



Instant Pot; clean the insert bowl and check the lid for fit


2 T ghee or high-quality oil, such as safflower, sunflower, or mustard

½ tsp cumin seed

½ tsp mustard seed

½ tsp coriander seed

½ tsp sesame seed

1 yellow onion; ½ peeled and ¼-inch diced, the other ½ reserved

1 carrot, medium; peeled and ¼-inch diced

1 celery stalk; ¼-inch diced

5 cloves garlic; 2 peeled and finely diced, the other 3 reserved

2 bay leaf or 6 curry leaves

2 ripe tomatoes, large; diced

1¼ cup vegetarian stock (more if you like it saucier)

½ cup royal red rice (rinse 3 times in cold water)

½ cup mung beans (rinse 3 times in cold water)

1 tsp coriander, ground

1 tsp turmeric, ground

½ tsp cumin, ground

½ tsp paprika, ground

½ tsp garam marsala

½ tsp cinnamon, ground

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp cayenne, ground (optional)

¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground (use long pepper, if available)

1 tsp salt

1 pinch hing/asafetida (for digestion)

1 can (15 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes with green peppers (optional)

½ jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional; use more if you like it hotter)

½ each yellow, red, and orange peppers

15 asparagus spears, cut at 45-degree angle into 1-inch pieces


  • Rinse the rice and mung beans 3 times in fresh cold water; reserve.

  • Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add oil or ghee.

  • Place seeds (cumin, mustard, coriander, and sesame) in the pot. Stir lightly, and listen for them to pop (approximately 30 seconds). Don’t let them burn!

  • Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery; stir. Cook 1 minute.

  • Add garlic, curry or bay leaves, and tomatoes; stir. Cook 30 seconds.

  • Add vegetable stock; stir well.

  • Stir in rice and mung beans. Stir in next 11 ingredients and optional Rotel tomatoes and jalapeno.

  • Close and seal the lid on the Instant Pot. Unplug the Instant Pot, wait about 30 seconds, plug it back in, and set for 22 minutes. Alternatively, if your Instant Pot has “Porridge” setting or “Rice” setting, you can simply press the appropriate button and set the time (22 minutes) after sealing the lid.

  • Meanwhile, julienne (cut into ¼-inch strips) the yellow, red, and orange peppers and reserved ½ yellow onion. Cut asparagus spears at a 45-degree angle into 1-inch pieces. Peel and thinly slice the reserved 3 garlic cloves.

  • Sear the peppers, onion, asparagus, and garlic in a wok or sauté pan until lightly cooked.

  • After the Instant Pot has finished its cycle, unplug it, release the steam, open the lid, and stir gently with a fork.

  • Serve the kitchari in bowls and top with the seared vegetables. Add salt to taste.

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