This Instant Pot Kichdi is a Surati Vaghareli Kichdi Recipe which reminds me of Jalaram Kichdi from Bardoli, India. This comforting recipe is what I grew up eating at picnics, gatherings, and lunch. With the ease of an electric pressure cooker, my vegetable moong dal kichdi is even quicker to make!
Family Friendly! Plan your next vegetarian gathering meal with this delicious and comforting recipe!
What is kichdi?
A combination of rice, lentils, vegetables, and spices! Vaghareli Kichdi is the ultimate Gujarati comfort food which is best described as vegetable porridge. While most barbecue on holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and summer gatherings, we made large pots of Gujrati Vaghareli Kichdi. Hence, the name "Picnic Kichdi".
Normally enjoyed with a cold spiced yogurt drink (chaas) and a few optional sides such as salad and papad. In any case, this dish hits home!
- eggplant - I prefer to use chinese eggplants but you can use a skin peeled black beauty eggplant or aubergine eggplants as well.
- pigeon peas - can substitute for english peas or use both variations. Pigeon peas are available in the freezer section at Indian Grocery Stores.
- moong dal - split yellow moong dal is what I recommend but you can substitute with split moong dal with the shell on still.
See the recipe card below for full a full list of ingredients and instructions.
How to make vaghareli kichdi
Combine the ingredients in the instant pot and set it to cook.
Once the natural air releases, add the tempered oil on top, mix, and enjoy warm with chaas. Option- you can add tempered oil after the recipe has finished cooking or before. I prefer to do it after.
Add extra oil on top to get the perfect picnic taste!
Expert Tip - For an extra green(ish) color add blended green onions or chopped spinach
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerate- It can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Heating- warm in a microwave by keeping a loose lid on top.
- Extra Oil- when making a large portion it is best to add extra oil so the dish does not look like "mush".
- Saute- Feel free to saute the vegetables before adding them to the pot. It will result in a different texture for the vegetables.
- Greener- want to make it greener? Add blended green onions to the kichdi.
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Although Basmati Rice is the formal Rice of India, for this recipe I highly recommend Jasmine Rice. It is thicker rice that works really well with a porridge type of meal.
Moong dal is common for surat kichdi recipe such as Jalaram Kichdi, but you can also use tuvar/toor dal.
Gujarati Vaghareli Kichdi Recipe
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups eggplant, half peeled and then finely chopped (aubergine or chinese eggplant are preferred)
- ¾ cup potato, finely chopped (peeling is optional)
- 1 cup turiya, finely chopped (peeled)
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup pigeon peas (I buy them frozen)
- 1 tablespoon whole raw cashews
- 2 tablespoon whole raw peanuts
- ¾ cup jasmine rice, washed
- ¼ cup moong dal, washed
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro (blend it into a fine paste)
- 1 blended jalapeno pepper (or equivalent thai/serrano)
- corn or peanut oil (heavy)
- 1 medium tomato, diced small
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon hing (asafaetido)
- 4 whole chili peppers
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- corn or peanut oil, generous amount
- Turn the Instant Pot on saute mode and add the 5 cups of water.
- Wait for the water to boil.
- Add the first next seven ingredients (eggplant, potato, onion, tooriya, pigeon peas, cashews and peanuts).
- Let the water come to a boil again.
- Now add the turmeric, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, salt and blended cilantro to the pot.
- Add the rice, moong daal, and salt. Mix well.
- Let it continue to boil/cook while you make the tempered oil.
- Heat a small pot on the stove and add some oil to it.
- Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop.
- Now add the chili peppers, cloves, and cinnamon stick.
- Lift the pot off of the stove and add the hing.
- WITH CAUTION, immediately add the oil to the Instant Pot.
- Mix the kichdi and now put the lid on the Instant Pot.
- Set the Instant Pot to 12 minutes, high pressure, and closed vent (no air should leak).
- Let the Instant Pot cool down completely.
- Open the Instant Pot, garnish with cilantro and chopped tomatoes.
- Add additional oil (trust me).
- Mix and serve hot!
- Tempered Oil - can be added after fully cooking the kichdi or before closing the lid of the pressure cooker. It is a personal preference. I make it both ways, based on time.
- Storing - refrigerate the cooked vaghareli kichdi for 3 days.
- Reheating - Place in a microwave with a loose cover and heat until warmed through.
- Picnic Flavor - Cook with peanut oil and use an extra portion when tempering the oil. This keeps the kichdi from turning into mush and gives it a shine that is commonly seen at picnics and gatherings.
- 1.5 cup sour cream/yogurt combination
- 1.5 cup of buttermilk
- 2 cloves of fresh grated garlic
- 4 strands od chopped cilantro
- 1 fresh blended jalapeno
- pinch of cumin powder
- 2 cups of water