South Indian Rice And Lentils
In South India, this satisfying tiffin dish is eaten for breakfast, but it can also be enjoyed as part of lunch or dinner. The rice and lentils are generously seasoned with curry leaves, cumin seeds, black pepper, and hing. Use the low-pressure Rice setting here so that the rice and lentils are cooked soft and have a lighter texture. Served hot with coconut chutney or Sambar (page 71), this ghee-laced dish makes a delightful lazy weekend brunch.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
  • 1cup short-grain white rice(such as Ambe Mohar or Kala Jeera)
  • 4tbsp ghee
  • 2tbsp raw cashewscoarsely chopped
  • 2tsp Gingerfresh, grated
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp black peppercorns
  • 1tsp black pepperfresh, ground
  • 20 curry leaveschopped
  • 1/2cup moong daal
  • 2tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8tsp hing(asafetida)
  • 4 1/2cups Water
  1. Measure the rice into a wire-mesh strainer, then rinse under running water for 10 seconds, swishing it around. Drain and set aside.
  2. Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee. Add the cashews and sauté until they start to turn golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the cashews to a small bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons ghee, the ginger, cumin seeds, peppercorns, ground pepper, and curry leaves directly to the hot ghee at the bottom edges of the pot and sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Transfer the tadka to the bowl with the cashews and set aside.
  4. Add the moong daal to the now-empty Instant Pot and sauté until toasted, about 1 minute. Add the rice, salt, and hing; pour in the water; and stir to combine.
  5. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Rice setting and set the cooking time for 12 minutes at low pressure.
  6. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Open the pot and stir in the reserved cashews and tadka.
  7. Spoon the rice and lentils onto plates and serve.
Recipe Notes


Substitute neutral vegetable oil or coconut oil for the ghee.