Kitchari ~ Ayurveda's Classic Healing Meal
Updated: Sep 14
Kitchari, the traditional Ayurvedic mono-meal, is one of the few foods that is both nourishing to the body and highly benefits digestion. The combination of grains provides complete protein and the specific spice blend and ingredients make it very easy to digest. This tridoshic meal is the primary food during a gentle Ayurvedic cleanse.
Kitchari provides healing by giving your digestion a break, strengthening your digestive fire, and flushing out toxins. This makes it a powerful tool to have at the ready anytime you need to reset your digestion, get over an illness, or manage stress.
Makes 4-6 servings
6 cups of water
2 Tbsp of ghee
1 cup of basmati rice (rinsed)
½ cup split yellow mung beans (rinsed & soaked overnight or for a few hours)
½ cup thinly sliced carrots
½ cup thinly sliced celery
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp black mustard seeds (omit if high pitta)
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp ginger powder
OR 3-4 slices of fresh ginger root slices
½ tsp -1 tsp rock salt
In a large saucepan, heat the ghee on medium heat.
Saute the seeds for about 2-3 minutes until they pop and you can smell them.
Add the drained mung beans and stir for a minute.
Add the water and the rest of the spices.
Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, then turn heat down to simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
Add the rice & veggies and cook mostly covered for an additional 12 minutes on medium-low heat. Add any additional water to ensure the beans and rice are submerged.
Turn off the heat and add the salt and let stand for a few minutes.
Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh-squeezed lemon juice (lime for pitta).
Season with black pepper and rock salt if needed.
You may want to experiment with the amount of water you use to find the right consistency for you. More water, the thinner the consistency. More water is ideal for a very weak digestion. Less water can give you a more solid dish that is heartier and more filling.
Change up the proportions of beans to rice. More beans will give you a more protein-rich meal, more rice will make it easier to digest.
For a variation, instead of basmati rice use quinoa, amaranth, or barley. Instead of yellow split mung beans, use red lentils, urad dal or toor dal. Experimenting with other grains that are balancing for your constitution gives this meal great options, but always keep in mind the traditional yellow split mung beans and basmati rice is THE EASIEST combination for digestion and therefore best for cleansing.