January is a time for good resolutions, and giving up animal products for the month helps reduce your carbon footprint, as well as giving yourself a chance to recover from the over indulgence of the festive season. This recipe is cheap, nutritious, quick, and very easy to digest. It is my go-to dish for days when I feel a bit under the weather. And, of course, it is delicious.

Mixed Veg Kitchari

Servings: 4 each Calories: 277kcal


  • 3/4 cup long grain white basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking lentils such as red lentils
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala, more if you like it spicier
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 or 2 Indian bay leaves

To Cook:

  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables
  • water
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  1. Toast the cumin seeds and cloves on stove top over medium heat until cumin seeds change colour slightly. (This step is optional).
  2. Wash the lentils and rice.
  3. Put all the spices, the lentils and rice into a pan.
  4. Add 5 cups of water instead and the rest of the ingredients as above. Cover partially and cook for 22 minutes, then check to see whether it is done.
  5. If you like garnish with coriander, lemon juice and pepper flakes and serve as is or with chutneys, or poppadums.
  6. This is the clever bit. If you like the dish, next time mix a jarful of spices for future use, making the recipe extremely quick to make.

Variations (enough to stop it ever getting boring!)

  • If you have a pressure cooker use only 3.5 cups of water and cook on low pressure for 3 minutes.
  • Add 2 green cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick to the spice bag.
  • Use other spice blends like curry powder or Jamaican curry blend or anything else you fancy!
  • Use moong dal instead of half or all the red lentils
  • Use brown basmati rice and brown/green lentils, black eyed beans or mung beans. You will need to add more water and cook for longer.

Adapted from Vegan Richa

Rev Sue

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