Plant-based Cooking & Recipes

Real Kitcheri That’s Not Kitsch

Kitcheri is a saucy lentil and rice dish, which is more like a medicine than a food. It is used in ayurveda to aid detoxing during panchakarma treatment.

You can actually fast on kitcheri, which is great because it is so filling you don’t feel hungry. It is as effective as other fasts without the pain!

Gruel to be Kind

Kitcheri is no 5 star Michelin type meal, it is basically a porridge or gruel. But the blend of textures and combination of spices are quite delicious, and it is very soothing to eat and kind to your tummy.

it is very simple to make from healthy ingredients, and is better than the sum of its parts. The mixture of grains and pulses are the perfect protein combination, and the cooked pulses compliment the grains.

It also includes herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, black pepper that aid digestion..

This recipe is based on mung beans which are first soaked, this means they will cook more quickly, and are easier to digest as the germination will have started

Soaked mung beans

First I soak the beans over night, or first thing in the morning if it is for an evening meal.

Add rice

 Just before cooking I add the rice, this time I am using brown rice. The soaked beans and rice will take about the same amount of time to cook.

Then I add some bouillon powder, ginger and turmeric.

Add turmeric

Then  some grated ginger.

Grate in some ginger

Bring it to the boil, and simmer with a lid  for about 40 minutes. The dish needs to be slightly soupy so add more water if starts to get dry, if it is too watery when all the ingredients are cooked, remove the lid and allow the excess to evaporate.

While it is cooking heat some ghee in a pan and lightly fry some cumin seeds, add this to the stew.

Serve with my Ayurvedic spice mix to make it even more delicious!

See Post: Ayurvedic Spice Mix

Mung and Rice Kitcheri (Gruel)

375g short grain brown rice
250g mung beans
2 litres stock
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (optional)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
lemon juice to taste (optional)
4 tbsps ghee
salt & pepper to taste


  1. Wash the mung beans and soak for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Drain and cover with the stock.
  3. Add the rice, black pepper, turmeric and ginger, and stir once to mix.
  4. Bring to the boil, turn heat down to low, cover the pot and let the kitcheri cook for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Check occasionally to make sure the mixture is not sticking or burning at the bottom, add more water if necessary.
  6. Remove from heat when rice and dhal are tender.
  7. Melt the ghee in a pan until it runs clear. Add the cumin seeds and stir until aroma is released. Pour over the kitcheri.
  8. Add the salt, lemon juice and coriander and stir gently until well-mixed.

Enjoy hot.

Ayurvedic Lentil Dal

200g red lentils
600ml  water
2tsp Bouillon powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled
1 cm ginger root peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp ghee
1tsp garam masala
handful chopped coriander leaves

1. Wash the lentils well rinse 3 or 4 times until the water runs clear.
2. Add the water, turmeric and boulion powder, bring to the boil, remove any throth with a spoon.
3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, add a little bit more water if it dries out.
4. Meanwhile liquidise the onion, ginger and garlic in a blender.
5. Place the pulp in a pan with the ghee and sauté for 5 minutes.
6. Add the masala and switch off the heat.
7. Add to the lentils stir in and cook for 5 minutes.
8. Add coriander and serve.

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