How to make perfect kitchari : Ayurveda recipe

Kitchari is a warming ayurvedic rice and lentil-based dish which is perfect for a healthy heart and gut. It can be whipped up in 45 minutes and is very easy to make.

a bowl of kitchari on a table

So, What is Kitchari?

You may be wondering what on earth Kitchari even is.

Kitchari is a tasty dish that is a staple of ayurveda. It consists of a mixture of basmati rice and dal and is the perfect dish to aid digestion. It can be made in many different ways and is a dish that was first consumed thousands of years ago.

Kitchari translates to 'mixture' symbolising the mixture of ingredients. To the rice and dhal base, vegetables and spices are added which results in a healing dish that is perfect for creating balance in the body.

What Spices Should You Use in Kitchari?

Like many Indian dishes, Kitchari is full of aromatic and healthy spices. The spices are used to add flavour to ingredients that don't have them naturally like rice and lentils but also to help with health. The mix of spices in Kitchari are used to detoxify and warm the body but also to provide anti-inflammatory properties. This creates a delicious dish that smells amazing.

Common spices to use in kitchari are:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Ground Cardamom

What does Kitchari taste like

Kitchari tastes like a cross between between basmati and a lentil dhal. It is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold day or when you're lacking energy or starting to feel ill. A large bowl of kitchari will both warm up your body and help replenish your energy levels. Everyone makes kitchari differently. I'll be sharing mine at the end of this post

All about The Kitchari Cleanse

The kitchari cleanse has grown in popularity over the last decade or so. It is great for cleansing the body of impurities and even weight loss.

I'm generally not a fan of cleanses but this one is at least attainable and easy to follow. No weird juices, cabbage soup or gallons of water here. The kitchari cleanse is also one of the simplest i've come across. With the cleanse you enjoy a bowl of kitchari for lunch and dinner and for breakfast it is just oatmeal. Easy huh? You follow this for 3 or 4 days.

Can you freeze Kitchari?

Yes, just store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Then reheat on the stove adding a little water if necessary.

How long does kitchari keep in the fridge?

Kitcahri will keep for 3-4 days when kept in the fridge.

How to Make Kitchari

Kitchari is one of the easiest dishes you'll ever make. It has a delicious flavour profile too. It can all be made in one pot and the actual active time is very short, most of the cooking time you can just leave it to do it's thing without giving it constant attention.

The process includes sauteeing the spices in ghee to release the aroma and intensify the taste then we add our rice to the pot along with the lentils and vegetables plus some water. We leave it to simmer for 30 minutes and then it is ready to enjoy. It couldn't be much easier.

I usually make a large batch, split it into plastic containers and then. store it in the freezer so it's ready when I fancy something tasty and healthy.

Why You'll Love Kitchari!

There is so much to love about kitchari. It's:

  • healthy
  • delicious
  • aromatic
  • exciting
  • warming
  • filling

This dish can be varied in so many ways - mix up the vegetables, experiment with different spices and for the non-vegans reading add a dollop of soured cream or natural yogurt. Vegans can serve with vegan plain yogurt. You can even whip us some naan bread and serve it alongside this kitchari.

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How to make kitchari

a bowl filled with kitchari

Kitchari is a warming ayurvedic rice and lentil-based dish which is perfect for a healthy heart and gut. It can be whipped up in 45 minutes and is very easy to make.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 1/2 tbsp vegan ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 cm piece fresh ginger (peeled and minced)
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup dried split yellow lentils
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 14 oz tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup almond milk

To serve

  • 2 salad onions (sliced thinly)
  • 1 lime (quartered)


  1. Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add your ghee to the pot and once hot add in the cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric, paprika, cardamom, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add your rice and lentils to the pot and stir until completely coated in the spice mix.
  3. Add water to the pan until it is about an inch above your rice and lentils.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Once rice is soft, season with salt and pepper. Add your tomatoes and milk to the pot and stir.
  6. Add a little extra salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve in individual bowls, squeeze some of the lime over and sprinkle salad onions on top.

Hey there

I'm Adelaise. Ethically Living is a modern lifestyle site for the modern vegan. Here you'll find tasty and easy vegan recipes, sustainability tips, travel guides and cruelty-free beauty. Enjoy and stay a while.

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  1. wrote:

    We Indians call it khichdi and usually tastes best with short grain rice than basmathi. Yellow moong lentils are perfect for making khichdi. There are several variations to this and a great one pot dish when you dont feel like cooking !

    Posted 8.10.20 Reply