Kitchari is an age old, traditional dish that is not only a staple for Indian meals, but is also a staple for any Ayurvedic cleanse. This versatile, Eastern dish is super nourishing to the body and the mind, and can be made to fit any constitution or dosha type, depending on the spices and veggies that you add.
This particular recipe is tridoshic, meaning suitable for all body types, and is fitting as a meal, or to aid in a mono-diet cleanse. Kitchari is well known as being easy on the digestive tract and it makes a great meal option for when you are feeling a bit under the weather.
However you decide to incorporate this meal, you can play around with this recipe by adding different spices, veggies, oils, and ghee. I often like to use homemade chicken broth to add flavor as well as essential vitamins and nutrients. So have fun with it and discover the most tasty, healing recipe for you!
Classic Cleansing Kitchari Recipe
- Doshic effect: Vata ↓, Pitta ↓, Kapha ↓*
- Vegetarian and Vegan
- Serving: 5 to 6
- Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, whole
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seed, whole (omit for Pitta)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Agni Churna*
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, omit for Pitta)
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 teaspoon finely minced serrano pepper (optional, omit for Pitta)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup split mung dal
- 3/4 cup basmati rice (use quinoa for Kapha)
- 6 cups water
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced carrot
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 cup chopped kale leaves, stemmed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (use lime for Pitta)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Lemon wedges, for garnish (use lime for Pitta)
- Chopped green onion, for garnish
- Ghee, for individual servings
*Replace the Agni Churna with 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder, and 1/4 teaspoon fennel powder.
1. Measure the spices, chop the onion, and mince the serrano (if used) and fresh ginger.
2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat and add in the ghee. Once hot, add in the onion, cumin, brown mustard seed, and black pepper. Stir over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add in the fresh ginger, serrano pepper (if used), cayenne pepper (if used), and Agni Churna. Sauté for an additional 30 seconds stirring constantly.
4. Add in the water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
5. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium and add in the mung dal. Cover the pan, leaving a slight opening to prevent overflow. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring half way.
6. As the beans are cooking, begin to slice up the carrot, celery, and kale.
7. Add in the rice, carrot, celery, and kale to the pot. Stir well and cover the pan, keeping it slightly cracked. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes. If the kitchari becomes too thick, carefully add more water by the quarter cup.
8. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan completely and cook for a remaining 3 minutes. Stir every minute to avoid the kitchari sticking to the bottom of the pan.
9. Turn off the heat and take the pan off of the hot burner. Add in the cilantro, fresh lemon juice, and salt. Stir well to blend all of the ingredients together evenly. Cover the pan and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to harmonize.
10. Serve into bowls. For added cleansing effects, garnish generously with extra cilantro, lemon juice (lime for Pitta), and ghee. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
11. Kitchari is best the first day, however, it will keep for up to 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat over a low heat and add in 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of ghee, fresh lemon juice, cilantro, and a dash of salt and pepper with each serving.
Savor this meal as your lunch, dinner or as a mono-diet during illness or a cleanse. It is easy to make, tasty, nourishing, great for the digestion and suitable for every-body. So eat up and enjoy my friends!!!