Kitchari (Khichari)


A staple Indian dish with the goodness of rice and lentils put together in one recipe. It is easy to digest, palatable and works wonders in convalescence. It is usually served with ghee, buttermilk, curd (plain unsweetened yoghurt) or milk.

Best for Vata, Kapha and Pitta conditions.

  • To balance the Vata or Kapha dosha it is recommended to add grated ginger or ginger powder.
  • To balance the pitta dosha, skip mustard seeds.
Prep Time: 20 Mins
Total Time: 40 Mins
Serves: 2 to 3 persons


  • 1/2 cup rice (although Basmati is readily available and can be used, some traditional indian rice varieties like ambemohar, masoori etc. are highly fragrant and easier to digest than Basmati)
  • 1 cup of split green gram dal (moong). Use the husked kind if you want to incorporate more fiber content.
  • 6 cups (approx.) water
    1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated
  • A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
  • 2 tsp. Ghee (preferably cow’s ghee)
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 dried red chili (optional)
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)


  1. Wash rice and dal separately in water and drain. Repeat twice.
  2. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered / in a pressure-cooker / instant pot until it becomes so soft that the grains are mushy. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
  3. While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
  4. In a separate saucepan, sauté the mustard and cumin seeds in the ghee until they pop, followed by asafoetida, turmeric and ginger.
  5. Add other powdered spices and sauté for under a minute.
  6. Lower the flame and stir in cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture.
  7. Add the mineral salt and mix.
  8. Allow it to simmer for 2 mins.
  9. Serve with chopped cilantro and ghee.

Serving suggestions

Serve hot. Adding a small tsp of Indian (or otherwise) pickle helps in promoting saliva secretion especially for recovery where the loss of taste is a common symptom.


A kitchari mono-diet for a long time can lead to constipation as it is low in fiber. Adding vegetables and using husked moong dal can add to the fiber content.

Check out the Ayurvedic benefits of ingredients used in this recipe

Chinmayi Kulkarni

Chinmayi is a Nutritionist turned Marketer, with Masters in both Marketing and Nutrition. Her focus is to combine her knowledge to understand and evangelize Ayurveda.

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