Kitchari, Khichri or Khichdi, is a South Asian preparation made from rice and lentils and was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree.
Kitchari means mixture, usually of two grains. It is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that’s known to assist in detoxing the body and balancing all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Therefore Kitchari is known to be particularly nourishing, easy to digest and great way to cleanse the body in a gentle way.
Kitchari is usually made with mung beans, Basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee and spices. Mung beans are also a great source of protein and provide a source of good carbohydrates and fiber. It’s a great dish for those having digestive problems and recovering from illness.
There are a variety of Kitchari styles out there from simple to more elaborate versions. My version below packs a variety of lentils, beans and peas and is wholesome, nutritious and makes a wonderful one pot wholemeal for Meatless Monday or Friday meals when your fridge is nearing empty.
1/2 cup (170g) basmati rice
1/2 cup (170g) green, black or Puy lentils
1/2 cup (170g) green split peas
1 cup (340g) yellow split mung beans
1 cup (340g) red split lentils
1/2 cup (170g) yellow split peas
1 tsp feniugreek seed
12 cups water
2 heaped tsp each coriander, turmeric, fennel and cumin powders
1 tsp asofoetida
1/2 tsp each black pepper, cumin and fennel seeds. lightly roasted and crushed
1 tsp Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala Powder (optional)
1 green chilli
3 garlic cloves, bashed
3 cm knob ginger. bashed
3 sprigs curry leaves
3 cups boiling water.(optional)
2-3 tbsp ghee or more according to preference.
2-3 tbsp store brought fried onions or shallots
1 tomato, finely diced (add more if you like)
2 tbs LK Green Coriander Sauce
Chopped coriander leaves.
- Carefully pick over rice and lentils to remove any stones.
- Then rinse lentils, rice and fenugreek seeds a few times until water runs clear.
- Place in a large 8 litre pot.
- Add 12 cups water. Then add ingredients A.
- Mix then bring to a quick boil. Once it starts on a rolling boil, place lid then gently simmer for at least 1.5 hours.
- When lentils are cooked, thick and soft, add 3 cups hot boiling water (optional) to create a smoother runnier texture.
- Then add Ingredients B, adjust salt and serve as a soup, with bread or as a side dish to accompany a vegetarian meal.
You can turn this recipe into a vegan option by omitting the ghee and adding coconut cream instead for a creamy taste and texture.
Additional vegetables such as frozen spianch, diced carrot, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant and more tomatoes can be added for a more substantial dish.