A Collection of 22 or So Kitchari Recipes

Kitchari is one of the most well known recipes outside of India amongst people intent on keeping healthy and eating healthily. It is really a simple dish based on rice cooked with lentils, although variations on this theme exist. The simplest is the highly flavoursome Parsi version, and the Bengalis, who adore kitchari, take it to spice heaven by layering different flavours using a dozen or so spices.

Kitchari can be cooked with long grain or short grain rice, resulting in different dishes. Basmati rice is preferred by Ayurveda and other practitioners, due to its digestibility. Long grain rice is also the rice of choice in the North of India. The kitchari is quite loose and open, not unlike a pilaf.

In the South, short and medium grained rices are used for Pongal and other variations on Kitchari. This means that the dish is more porridge-like than pilaf-like.

Kitchari can be made thick or soupy. The ratio of lentils to rice can be adjusted to suit your mood, the season and your health. Also, the lentils can be toasted before cooking to make it warming for the body, good for the Winter months.

All styles are delicious, comforting and very nourishing. It is a dish that you return to again and again when feeling overwrought, tired, anxious or unwell. It lightens the body and lifts the spirits.

Please enjoy these different kitchari dishes. Note that kitchari can be spelled a dozen different ways throughout India, and beyond. There are many English alternate spellings — kitchari, kitchadi, khichdi, kitchari, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, kitcheree, kitchree, khichdi,  and many other variants, and each Indian language has it’s own variation e.g. Hindi खिचड़ी khicṛī, Urdu: کھچڑی‎ khicṛī, Oriya: ଖେଚେଡ଼ି khecheṛi, Bengali: খিচুড়ী khichuṛi, Gujarati: ખીચડી khichḍi. And more….

Other Collections include:

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Bisi Bele Huriyanna | Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Bath, meaning hot lentil rice, is a much loved dish of the Karnataka and surrounding regions of South India. In some parts of Karnataka it is also known as Bisi bele huliyanna which means hot lentil sour rice. The dish usually includes a range of vegetables. “Huriyanna” is sometimes written as “Huliyanna”.

There are many modern versions of Bisi Bele Huliyanna. As the name suggests it has to be served hot. It tastes best when spices are seasoned in ghee and it is served as soon as it is cooked.

The rice and dal can be cooked together or separately. We have cooked them together today but added the rice after the dal has been cooking for some time. Cooked separately, it is a great way to use up left over cooked rice and/or toor dal, and makes it a very easy dish to prepare.

Similar dishes include Goan Bisibelebath, Punjabi Aamti Bhat, Eggplant with Toor Dal (Rasavangi), and Indian Dal Soup.

Browse all of our Bisibelebath recipes, Kitchari dishes, and all of our Rice recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Goan Bisibelebath

Bisibelebath (also written Bisi Bele Bath), meaning hot lentil rice, is a much loved dish of the Karnataka and surrounding regions of South India. In form, it is similar to a kitchari (rice and lentils cooked together), but is actually a variant of a the Tamil mixed vegetable Sambar with Rice (Sadam Sambar) as it has tamarind included. In some parts it is also known as Bisi bele huliyanna which means hot lentil sour rice.

This recipe is from Goa, where I first tasted Bisibelebath. Goan Bisibelebath is a beautiful dish, and this is the recipe that I learned there. By comparison, it is a simple version (but delicious) – some versions have 30 or more ingredients.

Similar recipes include Urad and Red Rice Kitchari, Bisi Bele Huriyanna, Zucchini Rice, Masoor Sprouts Rice, and Parsi Kitchari.

Perhaps you are after Toor Dal recipes. There are our Sambars, of course. Then try Punjabi Aamti Bhat, Eggplant with Toor Dal (Rasavangi), and Indian Dal Soup.

Try some other Goan recipes here. Browse all of our Bisibelebath recipes, Kitchari dishes, and all of our Rice recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series.

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Indian Essentials: Why Kitchari is not Risotto | What is Kitchari and what is the difference?

In Kitchen Diaries II, Nigel Slater begins his July 20 entry with “I am no kitchen pedant”. I totally agree with him, with a major exception.

In Kitchen Diaries II, Nigel Slater begins his July 20 entry with “I am no kitchen pedant”. I totally agree with him, with a major exception. It is about equating gorgeous and unique Indian dishes to well known non-Indian classic dishes where the resemblance is very fleeting indeed. I think it does Indian cuisine a disservice and creates very incorrect impressions of the diversity, precision and regional aspects of this amazing food.

It has to be conceded that describing Indian dishes to people outside of India is a challenge. How do you describe the wonderful dosa, a lentil-and-rice-flour based flat, pan or griddle cooked, carrier of hot and delicious fillings. How else to describe it than use “pancake” (or “crepe”), yet it is nowhere near an egg-and-wheat-flour based comfort food of many Western nations. Technically speaking, a dosa is a thin (but eggless) “cake” cooked in a pan. The problem lies with the widely accepted definition of a pancake as a breakfast, egg-based, pan-cooked dish often served with sugar, jam or other sweet toppings. You see the problem?

Continue reading “Indian Essentials: Why Kitchari is not Risotto | What is Kitchari and what is the difference?”