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Green Kitchari

by Tom
Preparation 10 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Serves 2

This is a hearty, warming and moorish lentil dish adapted from a Hairy Bikers recipe to give a bit more punch (and I only had green lentils to hand).


  • 80g green lentils
  • 80g basmati rice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 8g root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • To serve (optional): chillies, spring onions, lemon or lime wedges, chopped coriander or parsley


If your lentils are “split lentils” you can skip this step. Otherwise, bring a small pan of water to the boil and pour the lentils in, they should be well covered by the water. Bring the water down to simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the ingredients in the next step. Once cooked (or softened, really), drain and put to one side.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, and vegetable stock as described in the ingredients list.

In a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil to medium-high, and add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Cook for a few minutes. Then add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the carrot, garlic, ginger and remaining spices (turmeric and cumin) and cook for another few minutes.

Add the rice and the softened lentils to the saucepan and stir them in to coat with the spices. Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, and cover the pan.

Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it gets a bit too dry, add a small splash of water to it and stir.

If after 15 minutes there’s quite a bit of liquid, you’ll need to cook for another 5.

Once it’s ready, take it off the heat and put it to the side for 5 minutes to steam.

You can serve it with sliced chillies, spring onions, chopped fresh coriander or parsley, or lemon or lime wedges. Perhaps a mixture of the above.