Millet khichdi is a healthy and flavorful variation of the classic Indian khichdi, made with protein-packed lentils and fiber-rich millets. Using an Instant Pot makes this dish a breeze to prepare, and it is perfect for busy weeknights when you want a hearty meal without spending hours in the kitchen. This nourishing one-pot meal is loaded with vegetables of your choice, making it a wholesome and balanced option that's perfect for the whole family.
Get ready to taste a healthier version of the classic Indian kitchari! This millet khichdi features the nutty goodness of foxtail millet, lentils, and a variety of vegetables. As a wholesome, vegan one-pot meal, it's sure to delight your taste buds and nourish your body.
Warm up on chilly winter nights with this versatile and comforting one-pot meal! With soaked millet and an Instant Pot, it's ready in just 20 minutes. Add your favorite veggies and spices to create your own flavorful variation. For a complete meal, serve with bhindi kadhi and Bombay aloo.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This Instant Pot millet khichdi is a wholesome one-pot meal that is healthy, nutritious, and very comforting.
- Making millet khichdi is a breeze with either an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker.
- It is naturally gluten-free.
- This khichdi is suitable for vegans.
- It is freezer-friendly and can be frozen for up to three months, making it a great choice for hassle-free meal prep.
Related: Dalia khichdi.
What is foxtail millet?
Foxtail millet is a gluten-free grain widely used in India. It is called kangni or kakum in Hindi, navane in Kannada, korra in Telugu, thinai in Tamil, and kang in Gujarati. It can be cooked similarly to rice and is a good substitute for rice. It is widely used in India, China, and Africa. This variety of millet is gaining huge popularity in the US due to its associated health benefits.
Foxtail millet is very nutritious and is associated with several health benefits. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants. It is widely used for blood sugar control as it has a low glycemic index (GI). Foxtail millet is suitable for gluten intolerance or if you are following a gluten-free diet.
Foxtail millet: This is the main ingredient.
Lentils: I use a mix of yellow lentils (moong dal) and Bengal gram (chana dal).
Vegetables: I use spinach, carrot, cauliflower, beans, and peas.
Aromatics: Onion, ginger, and garlic are used, which form the base of the khichdi.
Tomatoes: This is an optional ingredient. However, if you are making a no onion - no garlic khichdi, then do not skip it (see variations section below).
Spices: The whole spices I use are cumin seeds and bay leaf. The powdered spices I use are ground coriander, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala.
Substitutes and variations
The best part about this millet kitchari recipe is that you can easily customize it to your taste preferences by switching up the vegetables, type of dal, or millet used. Get creative and make it your own!
Use other millets: Barnyard millet, pearl millet, little millet, and kodo millet also work very well for this recipe. For pearl millet, increase the pressure cooking time to 12 minutes. The cooking time remains the same for other varieties of millet.
Use vegetables of your choice: This is a great way of using up any bits of leftover vegetables. Vegetables that can be used are broccoli, zucchini, corn kernels, and bell peppers.
Change the dal: You can use any dal of your choice, like masoor dal or toor dal (pigeon pea).
Alter spices: If you don't have access to all the spices in this recipe, skip them. This dish can be kept really simple, although I recommend that at a minimum, use turmeric powder and a small amount of garam masala powder.
Skip onion and garlic: You can make this khichdi without onions and garlic. For this version, temper cumin seeds and skip step 5 of the recipe card. Add ginger along with tomatoes and follow the rest of the recipe.
Cook in a stovetop pressure cooker: To make this khichdi in a stovetop pressure cooker, follow this recipe using a stovetop cooker and cook it for 3 whistles.
Step 1: Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Saute for a few seconds. Once the cumin splutters, add onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute the onions for 3 minutes until they are translucent (images 1 and 2).
Step 3: Add the vegetables and salt. Drain water from the soaked millet and dal. Add it to the pot (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Add 6 cups of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 8 minutes. Do a natural release of the pressure for 10 minutes, then a quick release (images 7 and 8).
Step 5: Add cilantro (coriander leaves) and mix well. Serve khichdi warm with a side dish of your choice.
It is important to soak the foxtail millet overnight (or for a minimum of 4-5 hours). This not only helps remove the phytates from it but also helps in cooking it quickly.
I use a combination of moong dal (yellow lentils) and chana dal (Bengal gram). Chana dal makes the khichdi creamy. You may use any dal of your choice.
I use 6 cups of water for 2 cups of millet and dal combined. This millet-to-water ratio gives me khichdi, which is of porridge consistency. If you want a dry khichdi, use 5 cups of water.
Always serve this khichdi hot or warm. If you are reheating it, add a small amount of water and simmer it in a saucepan rather than reheating it in a microwave. This khichdi tends to become very dry when cold so adding some water and simmering it will give it back the right texture.
Here are some recipes you can pair with this millet kitchari to make it a wholesome complete meal.
This khichdi tastes great by itself and does not need any sides. However, you may serve it with yogurt and any pickle of your choice.
Millets are considered very good if you are watching your weight. They are very high in insoluble fiber and have a low glycemic index, keeping you full for longer.
It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. I prefer to reheat it on the stovetop rather than in a microwave. To reheat, place the khichdi in a saucepan and add ½ cup of water. Simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
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Instant Pot Millet Khichdi
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 8-10 green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup cauliflower florets
- ½ cup peas
- Wash the foxtail millet thoroughly in water. Soak the clean millet in water overnight.
- Wash and soak moong dal and chana dal in water for 15-20 minutes.
Make the khichdi:
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Saute for a few seconds.
- Once the cumin splutters, add onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Add tomato, ground turmeric powder, chili powder, ground coriander, and garam masala. Add ¼ cup water and mix well.
- Cover and let the tomatoes cook for 2 minutes.
- Next, add the vegetables and salt.
- Drain water from millet and dal. Add it to the pot. Add 6 cups of water.
- Mix well and deglaze the pot. Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 8 minutes.
- Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then a quick release.
- Add cilantro (coriander leaves) and mix well. Serve hot.