This delicious mainstay of Indian cuisine consists of a soft porridge of split yellow mung beans (known as dahl) and white basmati rice infused with ghee and mild spices. It’s widely prescribed as the primary food in Ayurvedic cleansing therapies because it is said to detoxify the entire system while also kindling the digestive fires. East Indians turn to this fortifying and soothing dish when weakened or sick. In India, it is said that a diet of only kichari, “the mother of natural healing,” will cure all diseases within 3 weeks.


  • ¼ cup yellow mung beans, moong dahl, rinsed well
  • ¼ cup red lentils, masoor dahl, rinsed well
  • ½ cup white basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, or other oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Squeeze of lemon


1. Place the moong dahl and rice in a medium saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Add salt and cover. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer while you prepare the spices.
2. Combine the cumin, turmeric and black pepper in a small bowl.
3. When the dahl mixture is half-cooked, after about 20 minutes, heat a small sauté pan over medium-high and add the ghee, allowing it to melt. Add the mustard seeds and stir until they start to sizzle and pop, about 10 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add the spice mixture. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly so as not to burn the spices. Transfer the hot cooked spice mixture to the cooking rice and beans and mix well.
4. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until a porridge consistency is achieved and both rice and beans are soft, about 40 minutes.
5. To serve, garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lemon.

Basic, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Fat, Low Saturated Fat
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