Published March 6, 2012 | By Jai Kai

Kitchari is meant to be a cleansing, calming and balanced meal – sattvic in nature.

It is a staple or common food in Ayurveda and is an excellent combination of fats carbohydrates and protein.

Kitcahri is a complete food that nourishes all the tissues of the body and gives one strength and vitality.

Kitchari is often used while fasting, on a mono-fast or for cleansing purposes.

My favourite thing about this Ayurvedic food is that it tastes great!

In the cooking demos that I do, people always comment on how good kitchari tastes and how great it makes them feel – light and energized.

For this Ayurvedic kitchari recipe, you can add your choice of vegetables according to the season and what is available locally.

Refrain from using any nightshades like tomatoes and potatoes – as well as onions, garlic, daikon and radishes.

Kitchari should also include some bitter and/or astringent greens such as kale, beet leaf greens or collards. It can also include sweet potato or yam which has a sweet quality.

This Ayurvedic kitchari recipe is healthy for all three doshas and contains all the six essential tastes for a balancing meal.

This Ayurvedic recipe calls for a soupy consistency for optimal digestion and it is crucial to add the recommended spices to your kitchari.

Feel free to add more spices as needed and some of the optional ones listed below.

Garnish with lime and chopped cilantro or parsley as desired. Enjoy.

Prep time: 10 min Active cooking time: 60 min (30 min in pressure cooker) Total time to make: 70 min

Serves: 4-5


1 cup of split mung beans

1 cup of basmati rice

1 piece of kombu, cut into small pieces

3 tablespoon of ghee

6 cups of water, more as needed

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds

1 teaspoon of dark mustard seeds

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon of rock salt

1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon of turmeric, fresh or powder

A pinch of hing or asafoetida

½ teaspoon of cardamom (freshly grounded)

½ teaspoon of cloves (freshly grounded) *optional

½ teasppon of cinnamon (freshly grounded) *optional

3 or 4 cups of freshly chopped veggies such as kale, carrots, squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes

½ to 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves or parsley

1 lime cut into wedges

* use organic ingredients if possible

Preparation & Cooking Procedure:

1.Wash the split mung beans and rice until the water is clear.

2.Using half the ghee, simmer the seeds until you smell a nice aroma.

3.Add the washed rice, split mung beans and kombu to the seeds. Stir together for 2 to 3 minutes and then the 6 cups of water along with the bay leaves. Boil for 5 minutes; turn down the heat to low and simmer (lightly covered) for about 30 minutes.

4.Use the remaining ghee heated in a pan, add the ginger, turmeric and remaining spices. Simmer together a couple of minutes until you smell the aroma.

5.Add this spice mixture along with your selected vegetables to the rice and dahl, and cook for another 20 minutes or until your veggies are slightly soft. Add more water as needed.

6.Serve warm or at room temperature and garnish with fresh lime juice and cilantro or parsley.

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