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Today, we are diving into Indian cuisine for a nourishing, delicious, and easy lentil dish. We are making Kitchari, a one-pot meal made with a handful of ingredients and a good load of vegan protein. You will love this one, trust me. 

Have you heard of Kitchari before? 

This ancient Indian recipe is not the most popular dish in the western world, however, it certainly deserves a lot more attention. Fortunately, in recent years it has caught the eye of a lot of people because of its health benefits. 

Kitchari is a flavourful, mushy Indian vegan dish. It's made with rice and lentils or any other type of pulses that cooks quickly, and a few different spices. It is considered the most healing food in Ayurvedic tradition. And it is used for, what we call in modern days, body detox. The detox or cleanse consist of only eating this for anything from 3 to 21 days!

Kitchari ingredients

We are so used detox plans with juices or light food. So it might seem a bit odd to have such a wholesome meal during a cleanse. However, Kitchari is incredibly easy to digest, the spices and warm foods are really gentle on your body. All this gives your digestive system a break and allows it to heal. 

I haven't really done a Kitchari cleanse but I do cook this beauty ever so often. I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry, which make it really easy to just whip it together when I'm low on options. And, it's a very cheap vegan dish, everything in it is really affordable and easy to find. 

The cooking process is super easy! Most of the time needed for this recipe is spent heating, boiling and simmering. It is very hands-off, you just need to keep a close eye on it. So, even the biggest kitchen newbies out there can have a go at this delicious and easy lentil dish.

ginger and garlic chopped

First, we need to sauté ginger for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Then the garlic comes along. Fry it for 30 seconds so it doesn't burn since it will keep cooking while we roast the spices, which will take another minute or two. 

The last step is to add the rice and the lentils. Once everything is in the pot, simply let it simmer for about 30 minutes. You will have to check that everything is thoroughly cooked so you don't end up with raw ingredients on your plate. And that's all! 

If you are after vegan protein, you will find plenty here. One serving has 384 calories and 15g of protein. That is because of the magic of adding dal or lentil to your meals. I find them to be an amazing source of plant-based protein and a powerhouse of nutrients. 

I love making a big batch of this Indian vegan beauty. It is freezer friendly so I can store it in individual portions and just reach the freezer whenever I'm in need of a hearty and incredibly delicious Kitchari. 

Kitchari top down

Prep time
10 minutes
Total time
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 4


For the kitchari

  • 1 cup basmati rice (washed)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow dal (washed)

For the garnish

  • ½ tsp chili oil (optional)
  • ½ lemon (thinly sliced)


  1. Use a big pot and add the oil, saute ginger for about 3 minutes and garlic for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add tumeric, cumin and fenugreek seeds and fry for about 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Add dal, rice and water and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add salt after the cooking process and adjust taste, add garnish, enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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