Instant Pot Kitchari with Seaweed & Tamarind-Carrot Sauce

Instant Pot Kitchari with Seaweed & Tamarind-Carrot Sauce

The wonderful thing about kitchari, aside from being a healthy and nourishing part of the Ayurvedic diet, is that it lends itself to countless variations of taste, texture, and flavor. If you've fallen in love with this tasty staple but feel ready to switch it up with an easy and flavorful alternative, this recipe is for you.

The specific mix of spices used in this recipe, plus the addition of seaweed, bok choy, and turnips, creates a unique and satisfying variation of kitchari that will nourish your body and excite your taste buds.

The tamarind-carrot sauce adds an extra dose of delicious flavor, while creating a meal that includes all six tastes of Ayurveda by adding more salty, sour, and pungent tastes to the sweet, astringent, and slightly bitter tastes of the kitchari.

Although the slightly warming nature of this recipe makes it most balancing for vata and kapha, it can be enjoyed by all doshas. To make a meal that is more balancing for pitta, or ideal for the hottest of summer days, try using a coriander chutney in place of the sauce.

Created specifically to be made with an Instant Pot, this is a great option for a quick and delicious weekday meal, or you can incorporate it into a longer kitchari cleanse. This Instant Pot recipe can be adapted to almost any other kitchari recipe as well—the key is the ratio of lentils and rice to water, which makes for a super easy-to-digest, porridge-like consistency.

Instant Pot Kitchari with Seaweed and Bok Choy


  • 1 cup basmati rice (soaked overnight)
  • ¾ cup red lentils (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon seaweed powder (kombu or wakame)
  • Natural mineral salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2–3 star-anise pods
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hingvastak
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 cups water
  • 2–3 medium-large bok choy
  • 3–4 small turnips


Measure the basmati and red lentils and soak overnight.

Pre-heat your Instant Pot to "sauté." When warm, add the ghee. While the ghee is melting, lightly crush the star anise pods, fennel, and cumin seeds. When melted, add salt, anise, fennel, and cumin to the ghee and cook for 1–2 minutes.

Add the seaweed, hingvastak, and ginger powder. When the aroma lifts and you can smell the hingvastak and other spices, add the drained lentils and rice. Stir to mix the grains and spices for about 1 minute, then add 6 cups of water.

Let cook on "broth/soup" for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your bok choy and turnips into small cubes.

After 20 minutes, add the veggies and reseal the Instant Pot. Cook on “broth/soup” for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can set to warm or low all day while you work, and it will be ready when you are!


Tamarind-Carrot Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 cup carrot, roughly cubed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
Optional garnishes:
  • Sesame seeds, toasted
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges


Warm the ghee, then add the ginger and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Add the carrots, tamari, and tamarind. Bring to a simmer, then add the water. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Then add the maple syrup or honey.*

Blend until smooth. You can add a little more water or ghee if needed.

Serve the kitchari in a bowl with the sauce drizzled on top. Add the fresh cilantro and lime juice, and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like. Enjoy!

*If using maple syrup, you can add it during the simmering stage. Ayurveda considers cooked honey to cause ama in the body, so it is better to add once the sauce has cooled slightly.