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Masala Moong Dal Kitchari [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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This dish is the epidemy of Indian comfort food. It is packed full of holistic, healing spices, hearty vegetables, and rice of course. All these complex flavors blend together seamlessly to make an extremely tasty meal.

Masala Moong Dal Kitchari [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


For the Masala:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoons clove
  • 1 large stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves

For the Kitchari:

  • 1 cup of yellow split lentils
  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 cup mixed chopped vegetables (peas, carrots, turnips and cauliflower)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 lime
  • Cilantro, chopped


  1. Place the lentils, rice, salt, turmeric, red cayenne pepper, mixed vegetables, and water in a pot.
  2. Stir them well and bring them to a simmer then, let them mixture cook for about 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally. The mixture should reach a soft porridge like consistency.
  3. In the meantime heat the oil and add the cloves, cinnamon and the cumin seeds.
  4. Cook them until the spices darken and turn fragrant. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes until the onion softens and begins to turn translucent.
  5. Add the turmeric and mix everything well.
  6. Add the tomato and cook it until it’s soft.
  7. Add the spinach and stir it until it’s wilted.
  8. Add this mixture to the rice and lentil mixture and stir it well.
  9. Taste the mixture for salt and cook it for 5 minutes.
  10. Cut the lime, squeeze the juice, and garnish the dish with chopped cilantro.





Rinku Bhattacharya is a creative Indian cooking teacher and writer, who began teaching Indian cooking almost a decade ago, to share the culture and home flavors of her native India.  Passionate about a conscious lifestyle and seasonal living, she shares her recipes and experiences are chronicled on her blog Spice Chronicles. This concept has translated to two cookbooks. The first is a part memoir, part narrative-style cookbook, "The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles," which was the winner of the 2013 Gourmand Awards for Best Indian Cuisine cookbook. In her second cookbook -- "Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors" -- Rinku offers recipes inspired by the local bounty of the Hudson Valley. The book also offers tips and ideas on creating a green kitchen and reducing your food footprint!



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