Updated: Mar 29, 2020
“‘Kitchari’ (prounced Kitch-are-ee) means ‘mixture’ in Hindi, and it is a traditional Ayurvedic dish typically made with mung dal (split mung beans) and white basmati rice, delicately flavored with herbs and spices, and cooked with your choice of vegetables. Think of it like Chicken Noodle Soup - but prepared in Indian kitchens. It's highly adaptable, can be made with different types of grains or beans, with different consistency's and spices, and everybody makes it differently to suit their own needs and tastes. It's fantastic as a gut cleanse over a long weekend to eat three times a day, to have when you are battling illness, or just for lunches during the week! Ever adaptable and always palatable, Kitchari should be a healthy staple in your Ayurvedic journey. Balancing to all three doshas with very little adjustment, learn how to make this amazing dish! Try out this option, and play with recipe as desired!
1 cup yellow mung dal ½ cup white basmati rice 2 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil) 4 cardamom pods, cracked 2 cloves 2 bay leaves 5 cups water or more 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (leave out for Pitta) 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 2 teaspoons turmeric OPTIONAL: - 2 to 5 cups chopped seasonal vegetables - options such as zucchini, eggplant, sweet potato, carrots, peas, potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, tomatoes - think easy to adjust and will hold up to longer cooking times.
- 2-3 cups of widely chopped greens - kale, swish chard, spinach, or any other green that you prefer
- Fresh Chopped Herbs (such as cilantro, chives, basil) 1. Rinse the mung dal and rice 3 times, or until the water runs clear.
2. Measure out all of the spices into a cup - this way you can add them to the pan at the same time, reducing burning them.
3. Heat the ghee or oil in a large pot. Add all of the spices and sauté together on medium heat for a minute until fragrant. Be careful not to overdo this stage - it's better to cook them for less time than you think. Too long, and they'll taste bitter.
4. Stir in the mung dal and rice. Add 5 cups of water and any chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, lid on.
5. Cook for at least 40 minutes (longer if using whole green mung beans), or until the dal and rice are completely soft (easily squashed between finger and thumb). The kitchari will have a porridge-like consistency and the ghee will have risen to the top. Add more water if necessary, or if desired to create a slightly soupier consistency.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in your greens.
7. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped herbs and a drizzle of ghee, if you like! For some other ideas:
For Vata: top with extra ghee/oil, extra salt.
For Pitta: fresh cilantro, lime juice, and coconut flakes.
For Kapha: fresh sprouts/microgreens, a sprinkle of cayenne. If you are having difficulty in locating some of these items - make friends with your local Asian or Indian market. They can also be located on Amazon! This can also be made in your Instant Pot - Sauté your spices on the Saute function (make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pan), then cook everything (except the greens and toppings) on high pressure for 20 minutes. You can quick release it, stir in your greens, and serve it up! Some people like 6 cups of water if you do the instant pot.
Share pictures of your Sacred Health Kitchari! Post a picture on instagram, and be sure to tag us and include hashtag #SacredKitchari Excited to see your creations and combinations!