Kitchari is considered one of the most balancing and cleansing meals in Ayurveda. It has been used for thousands of years to support digestion and give strength and vitality to the body and mind.
Vata, Pitta, Kapha
Lunch, Dinner, Cleansing
By: Sre Krishnan Nair
Kitchari, a seasoned mixture of rice and mung dal, is the most ancient form of detoxification practiced by Yogis since the time of the Vedas. Together the flavours create a very balanced food that is considered ‘tri-doshic.’ That means that with minor adjustments to the spices, this recipe can be used to treat imbalances across all mind-body types or doshas.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, kitchari is also the preferred food to use when fasting or on a mono-fast, where you consume one food for 1-3 days to give the digestive system time to rest and rejuvenate. It is also used during Ayurveda cleansing programs known as Panchakarma.
Once you have all of the ingredients (which you can pick up from an Asian grocer, health food shop or supermarket), it’s quick and easy to make, nourishing and delicious.
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1/2 cup yellow split mung dal
- 1/2 cup mung bean
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 pinches of asafoetida (*optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- 4-6 cups of water
- Garnish: lemon wedges, corriander, grated ginger
This recipe can be eaten by all doshas, however it is especially balancing for Vata. You may like to make some minor adjustments to further balance Pitta and Kapha imbalances, including:
- Substitute the ghee for coconut oil which is more cooling for pitta
- Avoid lemon juice as the sour taste can aggravate Pitta
- You may like to add grated or shredded coconut to add further cooling qualities
- Substitute the rice for quinoa
- Avoid adding extra salt which can contribute to fluid retention
- You may like to add additional spices such as bay leaves, cinnamon bark, cloves or cardamom pods for extra warming and pungent qualities
All doshas: option to add seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, squash or spinach.
Step by Step Instructions
Wash the rice, mung dal and mung beans well. If there is time, let the mung dal and beans soak for a few hours before cooking to support digestibility. Alternatively, you can precook the beans for 20-30min using 4 cups of water.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Stir until the seeds pop.
Add the rice, mung dal, mung beans, turmeric and salt and stir well until blended with the spices.
Add the water and bring to boil. Boil for 5min, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Add more water if necessary. Cook until tender – about 25-30min.
Serve and garnish with coriander, grated fresh ginger root and fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!