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Kitchiri - Herati Afghan Rice

1 hr


One-bowl / one-pot

My parents are from the province of Herat in Afghanistan, and Kitchiri is one of the more common rice dishes enjoyed there. The deep brown colour of the dish comes from the fried onion and spices, giving the rice an incredible aroma and flavour.



1 hr


10 min


50 min

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  • ½ cup (100 g)
    dry split mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup (200 g)
    uncooked basmati rice, soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 1
    medium onion, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp (2 g)
    ground cumin
  • ½ tsp
    ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp
  • ½ tsp
    ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (240 mL)
    water, plus more for the rice

Garlic yogurt sauce

  • ½ cup (120 mL)
    unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 1
    clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp

Optional garnish

  • fresh cilantro

Serves well with


  1. After an overnight soak, much of the skin separates from the mung beans. Traditionally, the skin is scooped out before cooking, but this is optional. Rinse and drain both the mung beans and rice.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook until very golden, about 10 - 12 minutes. We want the onions a deep brown but without burning them.
  3. Then add the drained mung beans, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for 3 - 4 minutes to lightly toast. Stir often.
  4. Add the spices and cook for 1 more minute, stirring throughout.
  5. Add the water and cook for 3 minutes, or until boiling.
  6. Add the rice and cover it with enough water so that the water is about ½ inch (2 cm) above the rice*. Bring to a boil, partially cover, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook for 15 - 20 minutes.
  7. To make the garlic yogurt sauce, combine the yogurt, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
  8. Returning to the rice, remove the lid, mix the cooked rice to fluff it, then use the end of a wooden spatula to create 5 holes in the rice.
  9. Taste test. If the rice is not yet cooked, add a small splash of water. Then wrap the lid of the pot with a clean dish towel and place this over the pot. Let sit for 5 - 7 minutes on low heat.
  10. To serve, top the rice with a drizzle of the garlic yogurt sauce. Enjoy!


  • Find split mung beans at your local Persian grocery store. You can use whole mung beans instead as well, but they should be soaked overnight and then cooked in the boiling water for 8 - 10 minutes before the rice is added, to ensure that the rice and beans are done cooking at the same time. When the soaked mung beans are rinsed, the skins should come off.
  • * Careful to not add too much water, as more water can always be added later.


  • Keep the kitchari separate from the garlic yogurt in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Let us know what you think

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Katie - Dec. 3, 2023, 7:20 p.m.

Absolutely in love with this, and the original YouTube video was so beautiful and meaningful! Thanks for sharing!

PUL Team - Dec. 4, 2023, 4:06 a.m.

Thank you so much, Katie! Your support means the world 💛

Michaela - June 14, 2023, 10:37 a.m.

Delicious. The rice and beans base is very mellow in taste which a garlic yogurt compliments perfectly. Thanks!

PUL Team - June 14, 2023, 10:42 p.m.

So happy to hear, Michaela, thank you :D

Amy - Aug. 26, 2022, 2:46 a.m.

This was my first Afghani recipe, and it did not disappoint! The flavor of the rice was earthy with the cumin and turmeric, but adding that slight tang from the fresh garlic in the yogurt sauce makes this dish enliven all my tastebuds. Definitely going to be exploring the other Afghan recipes. Thank you for sharing!

PUL Team - Aug. 28, 2022, 7 p.m.

Oh, Amy, we appreciate the kind words very much! Hope you enjoy the other recipes as well 💛

Clara - Dec. 5, 2021, 2:17 p.m.

Thank you for introducing the Afghan cuisine to us - I really liked this recipe !! It was even better the second day, when we heated it up in the pan. :))

PUL Team - Dec. 5, 2021, 5:48 p.m.

So glad to hear, Clara, thank you ✨🤗

Astrid - Nov. 23, 2021, 8:29 p.m.

Thank you so much for these beautiful Afghan recipes! I will try some very soon.
So nice that you share some of your cultural origin and help us learn about the country and its culinary traditions.
This also reminded me of a young Afghan man I met in a Parisian coffee shop. He was training to become a chef, very motivated. He sared some of his experience about fleeing the country and starting a new life.

PUL Team - Nov. 24, 2021, 8:16 p.m.

Hello there, Astrid! Thank you for taking the time to share the kind words and your connection with the recipe, it means so much. We hope you enjoy it ✨

Ludivine - Sept. 27, 2021, 11:30 p.m.

My manager recommended your YouTube channel to me a few weeks ago as she knows I'm vegan and this is the first of your recipes I am trying. I started cooking a bit late in the evening and wasn't really hungry but I couldn't resist having a small bowl of it, it smells so good! Can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

PUL Team - Sept. 29, 2021, 6:29 p.m.

Aw we're so happy to have you here, Ludivine! We hope you enjoyed the lunch 😃

Charlotte - Sept. 22, 2021, 12:32 p.m.

Super delicious rice dish that we enjoyed alongside bolani and Afghan green chutney. I really enjoyed the rice combined with the mung beans as with the Shola and the garlic yogurt sauce always takes it to the next level! 🙌🏻🌿❤

PUL Team - Sept. 22, 2021, 10:14 p.m.

We're so grateful to hear this, Charlotte! A delicious combo indeed 😍

Marie - Sept. 16, 2021, 5:54 p.m.


I plan on making this along with two of your other dishes for my birthday this weekend. My question is where I live I only have Yellow Mung Dal (that only requires 1 to 4 hours of soaking and it cooks in about 20 minutes) and brown basmati. How would you suggest I modify your cooking instructions to make this dish work?

Also I have an awesome multifunction rice cooker that I can also sauté with. Could I make it in that?

PUL Team - Sept. 17, 2021, 1:30 a.m.

Hi, Marie! Happy early birthday 🥳 I'd recommend soaking your brown rice overnight, and the yellow mung dal for 2 - 4 hours rather than overnight. In this case, you can cook the rice and dal at the same time. The multifunction rice cooker sounds very cool! If you find it works well for other dishes, it should be fine for this one as well 😊 We hope you enjoy the kitchiri if you're able to give it a try!

Blake - Sept. 13, 2021, 11:31 a.m.

This is still on the stove but smelling so delicious. My partner and I were wondering what purpose the dish-towel-under-the-lid method serves?
Just out of curiosity 🤗

PUL Team - Sept. 14, 2021, 4:49 a.m.

Hi Blake, thanks for the lovely question! The towel helps to absorb the condensation. It prevents the water from hitting the lid and trickling down into the rice, which can make the rice soggy. We hope this helps and you enjoyed the kitchiri!

safiya - April 19, 2022, 11:09 p.m.


Habeebah - Sept. 10, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

Wow!! I didn't know there was another type of kitchiri! I come from an Indian family and our kitchiri is very yellow in comparison. I think it's probably another type of Dahl that we use? Love learning about the similarities and differences of cultures!!

PUL Team - Sept. 12, 2021, 3:39 a.m.

Awe thanks for sharing, Habeebah! It's so meaningful to hear the connections shared with the recipes 🥰

B - Sept. 4, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

I love it when you make videos on these recipes. It feels much easier to follow. This recipe is really good. Can't wait to try. <3

PUL Team - Sept. 4, 2021, 5:41 p.m.

Oh, B, this means so much! We hope you enjoy the kitchiri ✨

Treena - Aug. 31, 2021, 10:32 p.m.

Can I substitute green or red lentils for the mung beans?

PUL Team - Sept. 1, 2021, 2:52 a.m.

Thanks for the question, Treena! You definitely can - I'd recommend the green over red lentils, because red lentils can get quite "mushy" when cooked. No need to soak the lentils overnight, even just a 1 - 2 hours soak is okay, or no soaking at all. Just be sure to rinse it. And you can add it at the same time as the rice, no need to cook it ahead of time as lentils cook faster than mung beans. Do let us know how you find it with the lentils if you give it a go 🤗

Treena - Sept. 1, 2021, 3:54 p.m.

Thank you so much for your response! I am going to cook this in the next few days, when my fridge is not so full of food like it is right now. =)

Mika - Aug. 31, 2021, 9:42 p.m.

I already had mung beans and rice soaking overnight for another dish, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to change up my plans. This is so delicious! I am definitely going to be making this again. Thank you for sharing this recipe and for all of the recipes from Afghanistan. I can't wait to try them all!

PUL Team - Sept. 2, 2021, 12:54 a.m.

Aw, Mika, we're so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe. We hope you enjoy the others 🤗