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Serves 4


  • 200g mung dal or yellow split lentils
  • 200g basmati rice*
  • 1.25-1.5l water
  • 1-inch fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander (optional)

*white rice is preferred in Ayurveda as it’s easier for the body to digest.


  1. Peel and slice the ginger.
  2. Rinse the dal/lentils in cold water then drain off the water you used for rinsing. 
  3. Put the dal/lentils in a medium-sized pan with the ginger, turmeric, garam masala and salt and add the water, ensuring there is about double the amount of water to dal.
  4. Bring the pan to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and put a lid on the pan.
  5. Cook uncovered on medium heat for around 40 minutes until the dal/lentils are soft, stirring occasionally to ensure the water hasn't all been soaked up.
  6. Meanwhile, chop the coriander. 
  7. Put a non-stick pan over medium heat and once it is warm add the cumin seeds. Dry fry them for 1-2 minutes until they start to brown slightly. 
  8. Then add the mustard seeds and asafoetida and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop. Remove from the heat and switch off.
  9. After 20 minutes add the white rice to the dal/lentil pot and put the lid back on.  
  10. After 10 more minutes add the dried spices and stir. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until all the spices have flavoured the kitchari and the lentils and rice are soft. The consistency should be slightly soupy and mushy. 
  11. Taste and carefully adjust seasoning if required. Do not oversalt it - just enough to bring out the flavour. The taste should be light and slightly fragrant.
  12. Optional: add fresh coriander to serve.

Recipe provided by

Sareta Puri
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Sareta is a vegan chef, consultant and writer, who works in food education and sustainable food, including as a teacher and mentor for Eating Better alliance member Made In Hackney.

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