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Leftovers, Kitchari Style

A great way to use up leftover roasted vegetables. This one-pot meal is perfect for days when you want something simple, nourishing, and easy on the tummy.
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time45 mins
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Coco Morante


  • 1 1/2 cups lentil and grain blend or 1 cup yellow mung dal and 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon kitchari spice blend
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups leftover roasted vegetables or 2 cups fresh chopped vegetables
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro to garnish


  • Soak the lentils and grains overnight. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the lentils and grains with enough water to cover by two inches. Leave them to soak overnight, or at least two hours if you are in a hurry. Drain and set aside.
  • Sauté the spices, lentils, and grains. In a medium (3 to 4-quart) saucepan or soup pot, heat the ghee over medium heat. When the ghee is fully melted, add the spice blend and sauté for about two minutes, until the spices are aromatic and lightly toasted. Add the soaked lentil and grain blend and stir, sautéing for another two minutes.
  • Simmer the kitchari. Add the water and stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables. Stir in the vegetables. Let the kitchari simmer, uncovered, until it has thickened to a stew consistency, about 20 more minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and salt to taste. Finally, add the baby spinach, stirring it into the stew just until the leaves have wilted, about one more minute. Taste the kitchari, adding salt if desired.
  • Serve the kitchari. Ladle the kitchari into serving bowls. Garnish with a generous sprinkle of cilantro and serve.


If you do not have leftover roasted vegetables, use whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
For a traditional kitchari, replace the lentil and grain blend with 1 cup of yellow mung dal (a.k.a. split mung beans) and 1/2 cup basmati rice.