Khichuri – Bengali Red Lentil Risotto
A khichuri or khichdi is a classic rice and lentil mélange, prepared differently in different parts of India. This particular red lentil variation is from the Bengal. It is distinct in its use of fried onions to imbue rich flavor into the dish and is replete with cauliflower and potatoes and green peas. It gets done with in less than twenty minutes of cooking time with a beautiful drizzle of cumin scented clarified butter or ghee. To keep this dish vegan, you can use coconut oil instead of the ghee.
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 5minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 5minutes
Cook Time
  • 4tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1medium red onionthinly sliced
  • 3/4cup red split lentils(masuur dal)
  • 1/2cup Basmati or kalajeera rice
  • 1tsp powdered cumin
  • 1tsp powdered coriander
  • 1tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2tsp red cayenne pepper powder
  • 1tsp saltor to taste
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 2cups cauliflower florets
  • 1medium sized Yukon gold potatopeeled and cubed
  • 1/2cup frozen green peas
For tempering
  • 1tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2tsp dried crushed red pepper(optional)
  • 2whole dried red chillies
  • 2tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1tbsp chopped cilantro
  1. Set the Instant Pot® on Sauté mode and heat the oil for about 1 minute, then add the onion and sauté until they turn golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the lentils, rice, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, salt, and turmeric. Add the cauliflower, potato, and 4 cups of water and stir well.
  2. 2. Press Cancel to turn off Sauté mode, close the lid, and set the Instant Pot® on Manual Low Pressure mode for 4 minutes.
  3. When cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 10 to 15 minutes, then use Quick Release for any residual pressure.
  4. Once pressure is released, open pot and stir rice mixture well. Set the Instant Pot® to Sauté mode and stir in the green peas and cook for 1 minute.
  5. To finish, heat the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan, add the cumin seeds, crushed red pepper, if using, and whole dried red chilies and cook until the mixture crackles and is fragrant, being careful not to burn the crushed red pepper. Pour the fragrant mixture over the khichuri and gently stir. Sprinkle on the lime juice and garnish with cilantro before serving.