Kitchari, kitcharee, khichadi, kitchadee—there are as many ways to spell the name of this wonderful one pot dish as there are ways to make it! Kitchari is an Ayurvedic staple. A one-pot dish made of rice, mung beans, spices, and vegetables, kitchari is easy to digest, easy to prepare, and balances all three doshas. If you are looking for a kitchari recipe that can be adapted based on the season and your dosha, read on!

What Makes Kitchari So Great?

If you visit an Ayurvedic clinic or center you can expect to see kitchari on the menu. In fact, if you go in for pancha karma, kitchari will likely be the only thing on the menu! This is because kitchari is light, neutral, and easy to digest. Therefore, it is an ideal food for cleansing because it allows your body to focus on the detox process rather than expending energy on the digestive process. Furthermore, spices and vegetables can be carefully chosen to be aligned with the seasons and to balance one’s dosha. The recipe below is the perfect launching point. Once you become familiar with this kitchari recipe, you can rotate the vegetables and spices based upon the desired energetics. Also, the mix of basmati rice and mung beans form a complete protein. Kitchari recipes have existed within Ayurveda and the Asian subcontinent for thousands of years for good reason. This simple dish brings health and vitality while allowing the body to rid itself of metabolic wastes.

Ayurvedic Kitchari Recipe

Adapted From The Ayurvedic Institute Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup split yellow mung dal*
  • 6 cups filtered room temp. water
  • 1/2 -1 inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, ghruta, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) powder if available
  • 1 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)**
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • A pinch of mineral salt
  • Additional spoonfuls of ghee, ghruta, or oil for serving
  • Rinse the rice and mung beans. You can soak the rice and mung beans ahead of time for quicker cooking and to make them more digestible, but it’s okay if you omit that step.
  • Add the ghee or coconut oil to a stock pot and heat. Stir in the rice, mung beans, and spices, stirring for a couple of minutes, coating the rice and mung beans in oil and spices. Careful not to burn any of the ingredients.
  • Add 6 cups of water to the rice and mung beans and cook covered until the grains and beans becomes soft—about 20 minutes.
  • While the rice and mung beans are cooking, prepare any vegetables that you would like to add (read on for suggestions based on dosha). Cut veggies into small chunks. Add the vegetables to the mixture and cook covered for another 10 minutes or so. Veggies should become soft but should also retain their color.
  • To serve, garnish with a pinch of salt, fresh chopped cilantro leaves, and an extra spoonful for ghee or oil (optional).
  • Want an ojas boost? Start your kitchari meal with a spoonful of Chyawanprash to augment the nourishing, revitalizing qualities of this time-tested healing food.
*You can experiment with the ratio of rice to mung beans. If you prefer a more purifying dish, go with 50/50 rice and mung beans or even use more mung beans than rice.

**Veggies for Your Dosha

Here are some veggies options based upon the dosha that you are wishing to balance. Vata foods: carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, spinach Pitta foods: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale Kapha foods: cabbage, spinach, broccoli, mustard greens Make this kitchari recipe with love for yourself, friends, or family! Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.
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