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Kitchari Recipe & Variations

Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) is the traditional cleansing food of Ayurveda. It is a combination of split mung beans and white basmati rice (which creates protein) with plenty of different spices.

Kitchari is very easy to digest, nourishing, and gives strength and vitality. This is a great balanced food if you would like to give your digestive system a little rest or when you follow a detoxification program. It not only helps remove the toxins out of your body, but it is also very delicious.

Kitchari is low in fiber, so if you are planning to eat kitchari for several days make sure to add other fibers to your diet during the day or get instructions from a certified professional.

I love to eat kithari when my tummy needs a little break or as a meal part anytime. It is very delicious.

There are lots of kitchari recipes with different spice variation. Here is my favorite recipe from K.P. Khalsa.


½ tsp coriander

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp ground fennel seed

¾ tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

¼ cup of white basmati rice, rinsed well

½ cup of mung beans or lentils soaked overnight

3 ½ cups of water or vegetable broth

Ghee or oil

  1. Cover the bottom of the pot with ghee or oil.

  2. Add spices to the oil and heat them until fragrant

  3. Drain the beans and rice and add them to the pot

  4. Stir until coated with the spice mixture

  5. Add the water or vegetable broth and bring to boil

  6. Lower heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes

This will be a bit mushy texture but that is okay.

Make it a special meal:

  • Sautee onions and add them at the beginning so they cook together or top the kitchari with it

  • Garnish with cilantro, lime, and fresh ginger

  • Add minced garlic

  • Add sauteed broccoli or sauteed spinach on top

  • Top it with toasted sesame seeds

  • Make it spicy: mix in pepper flakes or add a hint of cayenne pepper

  • Get creative! The variations are endless


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