Kitchari | Cook for Your Life


Rated 4.4 out of 5
4.4 out of 5 stars (based on 11 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 6 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 12 ingredients

Kitchari is the food Indian mothers give to children who are feeling poorly. It is the perfect dish to have on hand for days when feeling tired, slightly queasy, or low on energy. It is...


  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds or powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) (See Chef Tip)
  • 2 cups yellow split peas, picked through, rinsed and drained
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed and drained a few times
  • Cilantro, to garnish (optional)
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Nutrition Facts


398 cals


7 g

Saturated Fat

3 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

2 g


68 g


6 g


19 g


19 g


52 mg


  1. Sauté the mustard seeds in the oil or ghee until they pop. Then, add the cumin, turmeric, coriander, fennel seeds and asafetida, if using. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the split peas and salt. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add water, bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the dal is about ⅓ cooked.
  3. Prepare any preferred vegetables (see Chef Tip). Add rice and these vegetables.
  4. Stir to mix, adding extra water if required. Bring back to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and the water is completely absorbed.

Chef Tips

Asafoetida is a traditional Indian spice frequently used in vegetarian dishes to replace onions and garlic. It can be found at Indian grocery stores and many health food stores. The spice is actually a gum taken from the root of an herb native to Persia and India. And is considered a digestive aid, often used in bean dishes, pickles and condiments. If asafetida is not available, add 1 or 2 whole peeled, smashed clove of garlic to the split peas when adding the water in step 2.

If preferred,  substitute canola oil for ghee. Vegan ghee is available in health food stores.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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