Kitcheri: Indian Porridge for Healing and Cleansing - Global Vegetarian

Kitcheri: Indian Porridge for Healing and Cleansing

kitcheri recipe
  • Yield : 4
  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 60m

In Ayurveda, what we eat is divided into three categories:

  • Poison – foods that hinder digestion
  • Medicine – foods that aid the digestive process
  • Neutral – gives nourishment without aiding or hindering the digestive process

Kitcheri is unique because it falls under both the neutral and medicinal categories. 

It provides nourishment, and due to the spice combination, also benefits digestion.

That’s why kitcheri is a food of choice during illness or stress on the body due to change of season or overwork. I call it the Indian chicken soup for vegetarians! We have been eating it in my family ever since I can remember. I make it for my kids when they are sick. It was my staple food last week when I had a root canal.

Indian Vegetarian Cooking course

It’s also known to be a great food for an internal cleansing regimen. There are many variations to a basic kitcheri recipe. 
Also a few interesting facts about mustard seed: They contain protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, iron, essential oils, fibre and antioxidants.


  • 1/2 cup split yellow lentils (mung)
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils (masur)
  • 1/2 cup Basmati rice
  • 7 cups water *
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbs ghee (clarified butter) or healthy oil

  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbs ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Handful fresh cilantro, chopped


Step 1

Combine both lentils and rice in a medium bowl. Rinse thoroughly a few times and drain out the water.

Step 2

Put drained lentils/rice and water into a stainless steel cooking pot with lid. Add salt and turmeric. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. (Be careful not to cover the pot completely to avoid the kitcheri from boiling over.) Turn off heat.

Step 3

Meanwhile, heat the ghee or oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Sauté the mustard seeds and cumin seeds until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add ginger and onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato, cook for another few minutes until the tomato breaks down completely.

Step 4

Add the masala mixture to the porridge. Stir in garam masala and fresh cilantro. Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lime if you like.

Step 5

*You may have to experiment with how much water you use to find a consistency that you like. (The more water, the thinner the consistency). A thinner consistency is preferable if digestion is weak. You will notice that kitcheri will thicken after it cools.

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Recipe Comments

Comments (2)

  1. posted by Rav Padda on March 4, 2018

    Although I have been eating and making kitcheri for years, I have never added mustard seeds to it. After all of the health info that you have provided on mustard seeds, they will be on the top of my grocery list this week. Thank you for all of the valuable info!


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