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 fibre. 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.
- ½ cup (170 g) basmati rice
- ½ cup (170 g) green, black or Puy lentils
- ½ cup (170 g) green split peas
- 1 cup (340 g) yellow split mung beans
- 1 cup (340 g) red split lentils
- ½ cup (170 g) yellow split peas
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 12 cups water
- 2 heaped tsp each coriander, turmeric, fennel and cumin powders
- 1 tsp asofoetida
- ½ 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 tbsp Latasha’s Kitchen 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 reaches a rolling boil, cover and gently simmer for at least 1½ 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 spinach, diced carrot, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant and more tomatoes can be added for a more substantial dish.