The best recipes are the ones that are easy to make and taste delicious. This kitchari recipe is exactly that - a simple, flavorful stew made with Indian spices and lentils. It’s perfect for a healthy weeknight meal.
Made with ginger, whole grains, split peas and an assortment of aromatic spices, this comfort food is good for an upset stomach or to warm you up on a cold day. Once you learn the recipe, you’ll be able to customize it any way you like and because it's so versatile, we think it will become your next go-to meal.
What in the World is Kitchari?
Kitchari is a traditional Indian dish made with rice and lentils. It’s a staple in Ayurvedic cooking and is easy to digest. It is a complete protein, making it a nourishing and satisfying meal for you or your guests. It’s easy to make, and can be customized with your favorite spices and vegetables.
Benefits of Red Lentils
Red lentils are a good source of iron and magnesium. Red lentils are perfect for those watching their calorie intake. One bowl of cooked dal contains only 168 calories. Red lentils serve as a good source of vitamins, especially folate, which is a type of B vitamin.
They are high in vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and thiamine. And cooked red lentils have 358 micrograms of vitamin B9, also known as folate. Eating just one cup of cooked red lentils each day provides 90% of the 400 micrograms of folate needed daily by adults.
Buying Tips & Prep
Lentils are sold in two forms: canned and dried. While canned foods are good for ready-to-eat uses such as a quick salad or side dish, the dried version works well for soups and stews, salads, and sides.
Select lentils that are dry, firm, clean, and unshriveled. The color of lentils you choose will depend on your usage, but in general, the color should be fairly uniform. Canned lentils are available, but lentils are just as easy to cook your own.
Unlike most dry beans, you don't have to soak lentils before you cook them. Just rinse them. But first, pick through them and throw away any that look damaged. Red lentils cook the fastest, usually in 5 minutes. The other varieties typically need 20 minutes.
But What if You Don’t Cook?
Well, in addition to snagging our ready-to-eat, PLANTSTRONG Indian Lentil Stew to make things super easy, the best thing to do is take a deep breath and know that you don’t have to be a professional chef to make this meal. It’s pretty much just throwing things into a pot and letting the spices do all the work.