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In India, whistling pressure cookers are the norm. These cookers let out lively whistles when enough pressure builds up through the opening on the top, and one uses a different number of whistles to cook different things. 4-5 for meat, 2-3 for vegetables. An internet search will bring up lots of fun reviews about whistling pressure cookers. Check out this informative post by missvickie.com.

If you want a dish to help you jump into Indian cooking, this is the post you’ve been looking for!

I have had to become an expert on quick, comforting, tasty recipes during my residency (Which I am graduating in 2 weeks from by the way – AH!). You can’t beat placing all the ingredients in the pressure cooker, hanging out on the dining table doing some work while the whistles happily increase your anticipation of the upcoming meal, and then adding some spices fried in oil to finish the job.

This recipe has creaminess from Indian daal but has some added complexity to its texture from brown-rice and quinoa as well as some of the veggies. You can use any vegetable you want, but I highly recommend you add some kale because the stems add crunchiness. The flavor is enhanced by elements that add tanginess. Tomatoes help with this, but I would also recommend one slice of lemon or a spoon of tamarind concentrate. We try to stay away from dairy on this blog, but a dollop of creamy greek yogurt mixed into a bowl of this baby really takes it up a notch.


  • 1 cup brown-rice
  • 1-1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups red or yellow split daal (Masoor or Toor Daal which can be found at an Indian store or online. This can be substituted with Moong beans which are more easily found at an American grocery store, but the creaminess from the other 2 types  adds a lot to the dish
  • 1/2 cup moong daal
  • 1 bag frozen kale
  • Any other veggies you would like – I add carrots, beans, peas, okra, spinach. I’m personally not a fan of bell peppers for this dish. Butternut squash adds a nice sweetness and makes the dish milder
  • A spoon of tamarind concentrate or the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 can of preservative-free diced tomatoes not from concentrate or 3 diced or cubed tomatoes
  • Curry leaves if you have them
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 2-3 jalapenos if you would like a kick

Tempering spices:

For more information on what Indian tempering spices are, check this page out 

This is a nice youtube video explaining the process. 

For tempering in this dish, use the following:

  • Cumin
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Dried red chilis
  • fresh curry leaves
  • chana daal
  • Urad daal

If you have none of the above, no fear. Cumin alone will suffice to take the dish up a notch. 


Recipe is made for a 6.5 liter pressure cooker

  1. Place all ingredients except tempering spices in pressure cooker with water filled half way up to the top
  2. Wait for 4 whistles. They sound like this “choo choo choo choo… wheeeeee!”
  3. Turn off the stove. Wait for the whistling to completely stop before taking off the lid. Taking it off too early can be dangerous and can cause serious burns
  4. In a separate small frying pan or wok, add 3-4 table-spoons of oil. Preferrably ghee, coconut oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil or sesame oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point so is not ideal, but I am not going to lie, I use it all the time.
  5. Add your tempering spices. When they start to spatter and their fragrance is released as they are cooking, they are ready. If you are using urad daal and chana daal for your spices, they also start to turn a little golden.
  6. Add the oil and tempering to the kichdi and mix together. The oil will spatter when it comes into contact with the watery ingredients so keep your head and face far away as you add it.
  7. Serve with a dollop of yogurt as an option.


– DS