Kitchari (also called kichadi/ khichdi or kitchery) is basically thick rice porridge/ congee cooked with legumes or lentils and whole spices. It tastes like soft overcooked rice that has spice aroma and the rich taste of legumes/ lentils.
In my extended family, Kitchari is often enjoyed when you don’t feel well or have digestion/ stomach problems.
I appreciate that in India, kichari is also considered as an Ayurvedic food. In honesty, I don’t know much about this Ayurvedic diet. But I do know that the legumes/ lentils that we put in this comforting rice porridge are very beneficial for our health.
And if we cook the kitchari in a pressure cooker, it can be ready in less than an hour. It’s so practical when you don’t really have time to cook, and you need to look after your unwell little one.
Kitchari mung beans
The recipe I’m sharing with you here is the kitchari mung beans. And I use split mung beans to make the cooking easy and quick.
Numerous kitchari recipes use various pulses and lentils. But I’m happy with mung beans. Especially when I learn more about the benefits of mung beans for our health.
It makes kitchari mung beans become an ideal diet choice when you need a light food that is packed with nutrients. Because the pulses offer anti-inflammatory properties, good sources of protein, minerals and vitamins. You can read the study report here on why mung beans are the poor man’s meat.
How and when you should enjoy kitchari
Even though I often cook kitchari when someone’s not well in our households, I sometimes cook it for our comfort food. Especially in cold seasons, on a cold day. We also have it for breakfast sometimes.
You can just enjoy this simple rice with mung beans porridge as is. But we love to eat it with shorba.
Shorba literally means soup. It’s basically the sauce, gravy, or soup of a dish. Such as a curry dish like Aloo Gosht.
Kitchari has a high content of water. Therefore when you eat it, you may feel full for a while and then get hungry soon after. If you do that, it’s normal 😄.
And because of its soft texture, kitchery is also an ideal choice for your little one. As long as you don’t put a lot of salt, you can feed your baby with this nutritious rice porridge. Just make sure you take all the whole spices out of the food, i.e. whole cloves and whole black peppercorns.
Another reason I love this dish is that you can cook it in bulk and freeze it. And when you need it, you can fully thaw it, put a little bit of water and reheat it in a microwave or on the cooker.
Simple ingredients for mung beans kitchari
I use basmati rice. But you can always use long grain rice if you don’t have basmati.
For the photos in this post, I cooked the kitchari using split mung beans. However, you can always use whole mung beans. But make sure you soak the beans longer, and you have to cook the kitchari at least 25 minutes in the pressure cooker.
½ medium onion is more than enough for this recipe.
Ginger and garlic
You only need about ½ fresh ginger and 2 cloves of garlic. Leave them whole, but peeled.
For this recipe, you need whole spices. They are whole cumin, whole black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamoms, and bay leaves.
Water, oil and salt
I think these three are self-explanatory 😉.
How to make kitchari
Although I use a pressure cooker most of the time to make kitchari. You can always use a regular cooking pot. It just takes more time to cook, and efforts for you to keep checking and stirring the rice while it is cooking.
Firstly, you heat one tablespoon of cooking oil and fry the onion until lightly golden.
Secondly, add all the spices, ginger and garlic. Cook for a minute or two, before you put the rice, mung beans and salt in. Fry it for another minute.
Thirdly, add the water in, put the lid on and start your pressure cooker according to its manual. Cook it for about 15 minutes.
It’s that simple.
I hope you find the post useful and now you’re thinking of trying to make the Kitchari. When you do, it will be great if you could share what you think about it in the comments below. So that others will benefit too. Feel free to share the recipe and pin it in your Pinterest.
And before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may like.
- Mung bean curry recipe: Pakistani whole mung bean dal.
- Aloo palak: potato and spinach curry Pakistani style.
- Pakistani lamb keema matar: lamb minced meat with green peas.
- Aloo gosht: Pakistani style potato and meat curry.
- Lauki gosht: Pakistani meat curry with bottle gourd.
- Chicken and peppers curry.
Thank you and all the best.