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Himalayan Kitchari
Himalayan Kitchari

Kitchari means “mixture” in Hindi. It is a nourishing and aromatic one-pot wonder typically made with a legume and rice. Our version uses green lentils and basmati rice and is sure to delight your taste buds with the fragrant and flavorful spices that make Indian cuisine so popular. Rotate through different legumes, vegetables, spices, and types of rice or other grains to come up with your own unique kitchari. Add water or vegetable stock to reach desired consistency, especially when reheating. 

Serves 8-10.


1 tablespoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons curry powder 

1½ teaspoons ground cumin (optionally toasted)

1½ teaspoons garam masala

1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained

10 cups water or no-salt-added vegetable stock

1 cup brown basmati rice

1 cup onion, diced

½ cup celery, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced, and/or 2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2½ cups assorted vegetables, diced or chopped small (try carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, bell pepper, or greens)

Pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes

Salt-Free Seasoning (recipe follows) and ground black pepper to taste (optional) 

2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

  1. Place a large pot on medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, curry powder, cumin, and garam masala, and curry powder, and toast for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the lentils and water or stock, and bring to a low boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that appears. 
  2. Add the rice, onion, celery, ginger/garlic, and fennel seeds, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add the vegetables, and cook until the hardest vegetable is just tender, approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with cayenne, Salt-Free Seasoning, if using, and ground black pepper. Garnish with cilantro before serving. 

Salt-Free Seasoning

Elevate your dishes with this homemade seasoning blend that’s both flavorful and sodium-conscious. Combining the umami richness of kelp granules with the aromatics of celery seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, and a touch of black pepper, this simple recipe adds depth to your meals without the need for salt. In just 5 minutes, you can create a versatile seasoning that enhances the taste of your favorite recipes while keeping sodium intake in check.

Makes 2 ounces.


¼ cup kelp granules

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Mark Reinfeld
Mark Reinfeld

Chef Mark Reinfeld, a pioneer in the plant-based culinary world with over two decades of experience, is the driving force behind the Vegan Fusion Institute. An accomplished chef, educator, and advocate, he’s penned eight acclaimed books, including Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, celebrated as the Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA, with a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall,. Mark’s culinary journey began with The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, honored as Best Restaurant on Kaua’i.


Chef Mark offers virtual and in-person culinary trainings internationally, including his signature 4-Week Vegan Cooking Immersion. He also currently serves as Executive Chef for the North American Vegetarian Society’s Summerfest. As a trailblazer, he’s been inducted into the Vegan Hall of Fame and earned the prestigious Platinum Carrot Award. His consulting services benefit major names like Google, Whole Foods, and The Humane Society, promoting the art of plant-based cuisine for health, the environment, and a more peaceful world. Learn more at

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