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Have you heard of kichari before? This Indian porridge is transformed into red lentil patties for a tasty treat that’s perfect for snacks and meals. 

completed Kichari Lentil Patties plated with patties in the background

Vegan patties make a nice change from eating legumes in a bowl! While there is definitely something appealing about a hearty, satisfying bowl of beans or lentils, it’s nice to change things up.

You’re going to love the Indian spices and flavors that add so much to these crisp patties. If you love these vegan patties then you might also give these red lentil patties with amaranth and black bean bulgur patties a try!

Why This Recipe Works

  • These vegan lentil patties contain both rice and lentils (and a myriad of vegetables) making them a very complete meal (and a complete protein!) 
  • Perfect for those days when the weather is a bit cool, and it feels good to eat something warming and grounding. 
  • Deliciously healthy lentil patties the whole family will love!
  • An easy recipe that goes together in just a few steps.

What Goes Into This Recipe

Made with simple, mostly pantry staple ingredients you can find in most grocery stores. The full list and quantities of each ingredient are on the recipe card at the end of the page.

ingredients for Kichari Lentil Patties measured out against a white background
  • Aromatics: Fresh garlic, ginger, and onion layer are the first layer of flavor in kichari patties.
  • Red lentils: Gives kichari its porridge-like consistency. You won’t get the same results with brown or green lentils. You can reference this lentil guide to learn more about the different kinds.
  • Brown rice: You can use any variety of brown rice have you including basmati, long-grain, or short-grain. Check out how to cook brown rice here!
  • Spices: Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and black pepper. Use the whole seeds for the best results. Also, don’t skip the black pepper as it increases the bioavailability of the turmeric significantly! 
  • Veggies: Use whatever you like! Some ideas include finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, carrots, or kale.
  • Herbs: Fresh cilantro and parsley. Check out this article on how to properly store your herbs!
  • Sriracha: For serving but it’s totally optional if you prefer no heat! 

How To Make Lentil Patties

  • 1) Add the oil, garlic, ginger, and onion to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until lightly brown. 
  • 2) Add the red lentils, rice, and water and bring to a low boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 25 to 35 minutes until the rice and lentils are cooked and it has reached a porridge-like consistency.
  • 3) Uncover the pot, turn off the heat, and let it rest for 10 minutes, it will thicken a bit more as it stands.
  • 4) Heat one tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add the cumin and mustard seeds. Heat on medium-low until the mustard seeds begin to pop, usually about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let them burn. Then add the turmeric and black pepper to the oil and stir them into the seeds.
  • 5) Add the chopped vegetables to the skillet and cook on medium-low heat until just tender and salt to taste. 
  • 6) Add the fresh herbs and then combine the veggie mixture with the cooling rice and lentil mixture.
  • 7) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil the baking sheet, or line it with a silicone mat or parchment paper. 
  • 8) When the mixture is cool enough to handle, form the kichari into small balls with your hands and lay them on a sheet evenly spaced. 
process shot of forming two patties onto baking sheet
  • 9) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. They will remain soft and delicious inside. Drizzle with a condiment of choice such as Sriracha.

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • Heating the spices is an essential step in making kichari lentil patties. It warms the oils in the spices making them more fragrant and flavorful.
  • Don’t forget to oil or line your baking sheet to keep the baked lentil patties from sticking.
  • Serve with a sauce such as Sriracha, tamarind paste, vegan garlic sauce, or spicy peanut sauce.
Can I make these in advance?

Not really! They have a great texture when first cooked but they dry out the longer they sit. For best results, serve straight from the oven.

several Kichari Lentil Patties against a white surface

What is Kichari?

Kichari, an Indian spiced legume and rice porridge, really is something special. It can be something as simple as rice and red lentils cooked together and seasoned with just salt and pepper. 

Many variations include a variety of veggies cooked right into the pot. It’s often spiced with mustard seeds, cumin, fenugreek, and our all-time favorite, turmeric. 

It’s like an Indian risotto, cooked on a stovetop until nice and creamy then dished out in wide bowls. You can eat it alone or with a simple flatbread.

In this recipe, I change it up a bit and serve it shaped into baked lentil patties. Serve it up with a bit of tamarind sauce or hot sauce for a snack, lunch, or dinner. 

More Vegan Lentil Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Kichari Lentil Patties plated with patties in the background

Kichari Lentil Patties

5 from 31 votes
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 12 patties
This Indian porridge is transformed into red lentil patties for a tasty treat that’s perfect for snacks and meals. So delicious!

Ingredients 

  • 2 Tablespoons of oil divided
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger chopped
  • ½ cup of onion chopped
  • 1 cup of uncooked red lentils
  • 1 cup of uncooked brown rice (basmati, long-grain, or short grain)
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 3 cups veggies of choice finely chopped: broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, carrots, kale, etc.
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley chopped
  • Sriracha optional

Instructions 

  • In a medium pot, combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, ginger, and onion and saute on medium heat until lightly browning. Add red lentils, rice, and water and bring to a low boil. Cover pot and lower to a simmer. Let cook for 25 to 35 minutes until rice and lentils are cooked and it has reached a porridge-like consistency. Uncover the pot, turn off the heat, and let rest for 10 minutes, it will thicken a bit.
  • When rice and lentils are done cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add cumin and mustard seeds, heat on medium-low until mustard seeds begin to pop, usually 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let them burn. Add turmeric and black pepper to the oil and stir. Add chopped vegetables of choice to skillet and cook on medium-low heat until just tender and salt to taste. Add fresh herbs and stir into the cooling rice/lentil mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil the baking sheet, or line with a silicone mat or parchment paper. When cool enough to handle, form kichari into small balls with your hands and lay them on a sheet evenly spaced. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. They will remain soft and delicious inside. Drizzle with a condiment of choice – Sriracha would work well here.

Notes

  • Heating the spices is an essential step in making kichari lentil patties. It warms the oils in the spices making them more fragrant and flavorful.
  • Don’t forget to oil or line your baking sheet to keep the baked lentil patties from sticking.
  • Serve with a sauce such as Sriracha, tamarind paste, vegan garlic sauce, or spicy peanut sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 7gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 27mgPotassium: 308mgFiber: 7gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2446IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Renee Press
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Indian
Method: Stovetop, Oven
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: healthy recipes, healthy vegan recipes, kichari, lentil patties, red lentil patties, rice recipes, spices, vegan indian food, vegan lentil patties, vegan lunch, vegan patties, vegan snack, vegetarian patties
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Renee Press

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She’s on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

More about Renee Press

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Comments

  1. These Kichari Lentil Patties look so good and flavorful! I can imagine having this over the weekend! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed these. I have been on the lookout for recipes that use lentils in creative ways. This one fit the bill perfectly!

  3. My toddler loves these patties and I’m so thrilled to have found this recipe. I can make them in batches and I know that she is eating her veggies. What a relief!