Instant Pot <kitchari-inspired> Lentil Stew


Here’s an Instant Pot lentil stew inspired by the Ayurvedic cleansing dish, kitchari. Back in March, I did a 5-day kitchari cleanse, eating a more traditional version of this stew as my only food option for the duration of the cleansing days. 

If you would have told me, even a year or so ago, that my body would love eating a beany-y, carb-y bowl of soft foods for sustenance I would have laughed at you with a ohh hell no. But I felt great then, and when I was preparing for this functional medicine liver detox, I wanted to add in the kitchari as a meal option, it seemed to fit the program well.

To keep things simple, I omitted all the various spices in lieu of curry powder, and left out the rice to keep it low carb. Check out Banyan Botanicals website for a more classic iteration of the stew.

Instant Pot <kitchari-inspired> Lentil Stew

2 tsp coconut oil
1 red onion, chopped fine (I used my food processor grater, lazy)
1/3 lb shiitake mushroom, chopped fine (also grated w/ the food processor)
1 Tblsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
4 garlics, minced
1 bunch rainbow chard, sliced thin (including ribs!)
2 carrots sliced thin
1 cup split yellow mung bean OR lentils (soaked overnight, rinsed & drained)
1tsp each S&P
1 1/2 cups water


  • With the IP on medium heat / sauté, melt 2 tsp coco oil, adding onions & mushrooms. Stir frequently until onions are cooked down & transparent 5-7 minutes

  • Add garlic, curry/turmeric S&P, for an additional 2 minutes, careful not to burn garlic. Turn off sauté function

  • Add lentils, carrots, chard and water, stir to combine

  • Set IP to manual, 13 minutes on high pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally (or manually, if you’re in a hurry)

  • Season to taste

  • Serve with rice/cauli rice & garnish with cilantro/mint + chutney of choice! ♥️

** I’m sure this could alternately be made in the slow cooker and / or stove top, if you try it, let me know how it goes!

Photo May 30, 1 05 20 PM.jpg
Melinda Staehling