Kitchari recipe: rice and mung beans rice congee

Kitchari is thick rice porridge/ congee cooked with legumes or lentils and whole spices. Kitchari mung beans taste like soft overcooked rice with spice aroma and rich flavour of mung beans.

two bowls of kitchari mung beans


Kitchari (also called kichadi/ khichdi or kitchery) is basically thick rice porridge/ congee cooked with legumes or lentils and whole spices. It tastes like soft overcooked rice that has a spice aroma and the rich taste of legumes/ lentils. 

In my extended family, Kitchari is often enjoyed when you don’t feel well or have digestion/ stomach problems. 

a bowl of kitchari with overlay text of mung beans kitchari

I appreciate that in India, kichari is also considered an Ayurvedic food. In honesty, I don’t know much about this Ayurvedic diet. But I do know that the legumes/ lentils that we put in this comforting rice porridge are very beneficial for our health. 

And if we cook the kitchari in a pressure cooker, it can be ready in less than an hour. It’s so practical when you don’t really have time to cook, and you need to look after your unwell little one.

Kitchari mung beans

The recipe I’m sharing with you here is the kitchari mung beans. And I use split mung beans to make the cooking easy and quick.

Numerous kitchari recipes use various pulses and lentils. But I’m happy with mung beans. Especially when I learn more about the benefits of mung beans for our health. 

It makes kitchari mung beans become an ideal diet choice when you need a light food that is packed with nutrients. Because pulses offer anti-inflammatory properties, good sources of protein, minerals, and vitamins. You can read the study report here on why mung beans are the poor man’s meat.

a bowl of kitchari mung beans with sauce and a bowl of plain kitchari mung beans

How and when you should enjoy kitchari

Even though I often cook kitchari when someone’s not well in our households, I sometimes cook it for our comfort food. Especially in cold seasons, on a cold day. We also have it for breakfast sometimes.

You can just enjoy this simple rice with mung beans porridge as is. But we love to eat it with shorba. 

Shorba literally means soup. It’s basically the sauce, gravy, or soup of a dish. Such as a curry dish like Aloo Gosht.

Kitchari has a high content of water. Therefore when you eat it, you may feel full for a while and then get hungry soon after. If you do that, it’s normal ?.

And because of its soft texture, kitchery is also an ideal choice for your little one. As long as you don’t put a lot of salt, you can feed your baby with this nutritious rice porridge. Just make sure you take all the whole spices out of the food, i.e. whole cloves and whole black peppercorns.

Another reason I love this dish is that you can cook it in bulk and freeze it. And when you need it, you can fully thaw it, put a little bit of water and reheat it in a microwave or on the cooker. 

Simple ingredients for mung beans kitchari

ingredients for kitchari
ingredients to make Kitchari mung beans


I use basmati rice. But you can always use long-grain rice if you don’t have basmati.

Mung beans

For the photos in this post, I cooked the kitchari using split mung beans. However, you can always use whole mung beans. But make sure you soak the beans longer, and you have to cook the kitchari at least 25 minutes in the pressure cooker. 


½ medium onion is more than enough for this recipe. 

Ginger and garlic

You only need about ½ fresh ginger and 2 cloves of garlic. Leave them whole, but peeled.


For this recipe, you need whole spices. They are whole cumin, whole black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamoms, and bay leaves.

Water, oil and salt

I think these three are self-explanatory ?.

How to make kitchari

Although I use a pressure cooker most of the time to make kitchari. You can always use a regular cooking pot. It just takes more time to cook, and efforts for you to keep checking and stirring the rice while it is cooking. 

rice soaked in water for making kitchari
1. soak the rice in water
frying onion to make kitchari
2. fry the chopped onion
frying spices for making kitchari
3. add the spices
frying rice for kitchari
4. add the rice
frying the rice, mung beans, and spices to make kitchari
5. add the mung beans
adding water to the kitchari rice
6. add the water and set the pressure cooker to cook the Kitchari

Firstly, you heat one tablespoon of cooking oil and fry the onion until lightly golden. 

Secondly, add all the spices, ginger and garlic. Cook for a minute or two, before you put the rice, mung beans and salt in. Fry it for another minute.

Thirdly, add the water in, put the lid on and start your pressure cooker according to its manual. Cook it for about 15 minutes. 

It’s that simple. 

Related posts

I hope you find the post useful and now you’re thinking of trying to make the Kitchari. When you do, it will be great if you could share what you think about it in the comments below. So that others will benefit too. Feel free to share the recipe and pin it in your Pinterest.

And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.

And before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may like.

Thank you and all the best.

Kitchari mung beans in a blue patterned bowl
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5 from 50 votes

Kitchari mung beans

Kitchari mung beans (also called kichadi/ khichdi or kitchery) is thick rice porridge/ congee cooked with legumes and whole spices. It tastes like soft overcooked rice that has spice aroma and the rich taste of mung beans. 
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast & Brunch
Cuisine: Pakistani
Servings: 8


  • Mixing bowls.
  • Pressure cooker.
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1 cup basmati rice/ long grain rice.
  • cup split mung beans.
  • ½ medium onion chopped.
  • 2 cloves of garlic.
  • ½ inch ginger.
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin.
  • 15 whole black peppercorns.
  • 10 cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1- inch cinnamon.
  • 2 black cardamoms.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
  • 1 tablespoon oil.
  • 7 cups of water.


  • Wash the rice and mung beans and soak in the water. Set aside.
  • Fry the onion on the pressure cooker pot until lightly golden. 
  • Add in the whole spices, herbs and salt. Cook further for about a minute or two until it’s fragrant.
  • Put the rice and mung beans in. Stir and fry for about two minutes.
  • Lastly, add the water in and give it a good stir. Set your pressure cooker according to its manual. And cook your kitchari for about 15 minutes from the moment the pressure starts.
  • When your kitchari is cooked. Stir it well before serving.


  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make this Kitchari in a regular cooking pot. It will just take longer to cook the Kitchari. Make sure you soak the rice and mung beans a little bit longer beforehand. And keep stirring the Kitchari as you cook it.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 455mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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  1. 5 stars
    We were feeling a bit under the weather and thought we would try this recipe to give us a boost. It turned out perfectly! I followed the recipe step by step and used basmati rice. We loved the blend of spices. Will make again!

    1. Good choice. This kitchari is traditionally made when any family member is feeling a bit unwell. Love that you like it.

  2. 5 stars
    I love how these beans turned out. They were nice and hearty, and those spices gave it such a wonderful depth of flavor.

    1. The mung beans and the spices create that delicious savory flavor, don’t they?

  3. 5 stars
    I love the cinnamon hint in these, it comes out so creamy and comforting!

    1. This is our favorite comfort dish too, especially when you need a special treat.

  4. 5 stars
    Never thought kitchari tastes so delicious! It has the rich flavor of lentils that I really love. So comfy and savory! New go-to comfort food!

    1. Yes, definitely comfort. And don’t forget to make the aloo gosht to pair with kitchari. That will be complete comfort 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this porridge twice this week. My whole family enjoyed it.

    1. Wow, you beat me in that. But then again, it’s super easy to make this kitchari, isn’t it?

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