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Easy Kitchari Recipe

Easy Kitchari Recipe

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Today I am sharing another dish that was really popular in our home. I remember eating this often in our home and as kids it was something we loved.

Easy Kitchari Recipe

This Kitchari  is a dish made with rice and yellow split pea dal or mung dal. It is a comforting soup like dish.

I use the yellow split pea because it’s what’s easily accessible to me, however if you have mung dal it can be used.

It is an Ayurveda dish that helps detox the body and balance our doshas (according to Ayurveda it’s the three energies that define our makeup).

Apparently when yogis need to cleanse their bodies and soul they eat this dish because it provides them will all the nutrients.

My family loves this simple, yet delicious dish. Even my fussy kids could eat this without a complaint.

I asked my hubby what he would like to eat today and he requested this dish. But he says “please call my mum and ask her how to cook it”.

Well he nearly didn’t have dinner tonight. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against my mum-in-law giving me her recipe.

We share recipes all the time. Did he forget that I can cook this and I have cooked it hundreds of times, well not hundreds but close enough.  Men!!!

Anyway after I cooked it and he ate it, he said “that was delicious, even better than my mums”.

I think he knows what’s good for him…Lol! Yes I can cook a delicious Kitchari.

This Kitchari tastes so good when loaded with butter but my age doesn’t allow it.I used my instant pot to cook my dal and rice. 

You can cook it totally on the stovetop. The dal at high altitude takes about an hour to cook, if soaked overnight.

If you are living at sea level you may require less water and cooking time may differ. Please use your discretion here.

I then tempered my spices and added it to the dal/rice mixture. Tempering is a process where the spices are cooked in oil, in this case butter to release its flavors.

You can cook yours totally on the stove top but here in Johannesburg we would probably wait until tomorrow if I tried cooking it that way.

Kitchari with Yellow Split Peas is not a difficult dish to cook, you just need a bit of extra time.

This dish is typically served with a tomato chutney here in South Africa. I will post my chutney recipe shortly.

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4.5 from 2 votes

Easy Kitchari Recipe

Rice and Yellow Split peas cooked together and braised with tempered spices and loads of butter. Simple, delicious and comforting dish
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword ayurvedic dish, riceanddal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 1412kcal


  • 1 cup yellow split peas or mung dal
  • 4 cups water you may need a little more
  • 1&1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 1&1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice


  • 2 tablespoon butter ghee
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 tspn mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 4 dry chillies broken in half
  • 1/2 tspn ginger garlic paste or a pinch of ginger powder
  • pinch of black pepper


  • Rinse dal, place it in the instant pot with 3 cups water, salt and turmeric and cook for 30 minutes. If you are cooking it on the stovetop cook it on low-medium heat until dal is soft
  • Once dal is cooked wash the Basmati rice and add it to the dal. Add another cup of water and cook until the rice is cooked. This should take about 10 minutes. For this step you can also transfer the dal to a pot, add the rice and simmer on the stovetop for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  • Heat the butter ghee on the stovetop on medium heat with a drop of oil. Add the mustard seeds and cumin and fry until it bursts.
  • Reduce heat to a low setting. Add the onion, curry leaf and dry chillies and fry until the onion is golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste if using or a pinch of ginger powder and the pepper
  • Mix it into the rice/dal mixture. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot


  1. You may need more or less water, as I mentioned previously altitude does affect the amount of water needed to cook certain dishes
  2. Butter can be used instead of butter ghee, you can add more if you wish
  3. Kitchari is best served hot when it's freshly cooked. If you are serving it later you can add a little bit of warm water before heating it up as it is meant to be a moist dish
  4. The quantity can be doubled if you are cooking for a big family. 
  5. Onion is not typically used in this dish so feel free to omit the onion if you wish
  6. Please take note that I did not soak my dal overnight so it therefore took 30 minutes. If you soak yours reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes and add a little less water. I also wanted my dal to be really smooth so I fully cooked it before adding the rice. Some people do cook the dal and rice together


Calories: 1412kcal | Carbohydrates: 185g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 2711mg | Potassium: 1345mg | Fiber: 29g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1896IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 7mg




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Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Thank you for this recipe! It has become my go-to! 💗


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

I'm happy to hear that. Thank you:-)

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