Indian-Inspired Kitchari Bowls

Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Heath Goldman

Wait, you haven’t heard of kitchari bowls? Although the restorative Indian stew has its own trending hashtag, it’s been a popular Ayurvedic dish for centuries. Also known as khichdi, the dish is traditionally made with rice and moong dal.

Our simplified version starts with red lentils, which you can find at any supermarket, plus plenty of fresh vegetables (throw in whatever you have on hand). The results are energizing and tummy settling, and won’t weigh you down.

Easy One-Pot Lentil Kielbasa Soup


1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

2 garlic cloves, minced

One 1-inch piece ginger, minced

¾ cup basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed

3 cups chopped vegetables (such as carrots, zucchini, squash and okra)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups vegetable broth

Cilantro, for serving

Coconut milk yogurt, for serving

Crushed red-pepper flakes, for serving


1. Place the lentils in a small bowl, cover with water, soak for 30 minutes and then drain.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the turmeric and toast just until slightly darkened, about 10 seconds. Add the mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and rice, and cook, stirring, until nearly dry, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the vegetables, salt, pepper, vegetable broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the grains and vegetables are very tender and the kitchari is thick and soft and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, 20 to 30 minutes. Add more water or simmer as needed to adjust the consistency.

4. To serve, divide the stew among bowls and top with cilantro, coconut yogurt and crushed red-pepper flakes.