Spring is announced around here by the girls starting to go back on the lay after a winter spent freeloading. The warmer weather leaving chalky offerings in the nesting box for hungry breakfast hunters. The fullness of optimism after winter’s chilly departure. I love spring.

I’ve felt the need to tidy the nest. Going through drawers and cupboards, imagining myself as some sort of Kwondo minimalist. Giving boxes to charity, a desire to own less and live a little lighter. I’ve always loved the connection between sweeping through a clean house and somehow tidying the mind in the process.

I’m tempted to clean up my body as well. Not that it’s dirty or damaged- I just love steaming mugs of tea and warm toast in winter! Hardly a habit worth demonising, but my ayurvedic friend has recommended a change in my breakfast habits. She’s introduced me to kitchari, an indian savoury porridge. Warm and carbo-satisfying, a steaming golden bowl keeps me going until lunchtime and is delicious topped with coriander and black salt.





  • 2–3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander 
  • 1 small pinch asafoetida
  • 1 cup yellow mung dahl, rinsed well, soaked overnight and drained. 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed well and drained.
  • 4 cups water if using a pressure cooker or about 6 cups if using a regular pot.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root
  • Serve with chopped coriander and parsley 

 Heat ghee in saucepan or pressure cooker and lightly fry seeds. Add other ingredients (except fresh herbs) and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down to low heat and cook for 8 mins (pressure cooker) or 20-25 mins (regular pot). If using a pressure cooker leave off the heat until it’s safe to open. Mixture should be soft and soupy. Serve garnished with fresh herbs.

This recipe makes quite a lot so you might want to halve it. It also sets in the fridge like a bucket of Perkins paste (anyone born after 1980 won’t get that reference), to combat the coagulated stooge, just add hot water until you get the right consistency, then serve.