m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Instant Pot Rice and Red Lentils

This is a not-kitcheree side dish I thought ought to be obvious, but the internet was surprisingly unforthcoming about it. I based this recipe on a stovetop recipe for curried rice and red lentils, and some eyeballing. More experimentation may be needed.


  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp. brown mustard seed (optional)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ⅔ c. rice
  • ⅓ c. red lentils
  • 1 tsp. Jamaican curry powder
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • dash pepper
  • 1 ½ c. hot water or broth


  1. Sauté the onions and mustard seed in the oil.
  2. Add rice, lentils, and remaining spices and stir for a minute.
  3. Add liquid and salt. Deglaze if necessary.
  4. Close instant pot and seal the vent.
  5. Set to manual high pressure.
  6. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  7. Turn off keep warm.
  8. Release steam at will.


I chose the curry powder at random. A different one, or a whole different spice mix, would also work. I’ve tried and liked berbere.

For more flavor, brown the onions well, then add only the curry for another 2 minutes. (I wasn’t sure this would really work in an instant pot, so I didn’t try it.)

Kitchree is similar, but you cook it to death (say, 20 minutes), and the spices vary.

Add ⅓ to ½ lb. of a vegetable that can stand up to pressure cooking, such as sliced okra. Sauté with or after the onions if desired. Alternately, add spinach after releasing the steam.