Photo: Emily Kate Roemer
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins

The main ingredient in this good-for-you savory porridge is yellow mung dal, split mung beans that break down and thicken as they cook.


For the Cilantro-Coconut Chutney

  • 2 cups packed cilantro leaves (from 1 large bunch)

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • ¼ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon mineral salt or kosher salt

For the Kitchari

  • 2 cups yellow mung dal

  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 small cinnamon stick

  • 3 green cardamom pods

  • 1 packed tablespoon grated ginger (from a 2-inch piece)

  • 2 teaspoons mineral salt or kosher salt

  • 8 cups mixed vegetables, such as cauliflower, zucchini, sweet potato, bok choy, carrots, and green beans, cut into bite-size pieces


  1. Make the coconut-cilantro chutney: Place everything in a food processor or blender with 3 tablespoons cold water. Process to a paste. Chutney will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, though it will lose its vibrant color.

  2. Make the kitchari: Rinse dal and rice in several changes of water until water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

  3. In a large pot, heat ghee over medium-high. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until mustard seeds pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining spices and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add dal and rice mixture, 10 cups water, salt, and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until most of the water is absorbed and the rice and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Serve with chutney.

Cook's Notes

Several important minerals are removed in the refining process of traditional table salt. For maximum health benefits, use a mineral salt such as Celtic Sea Salt or Real Salt -- both can be found at most health food stores.

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