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Detoxifying & Anti-Inflammatory Kitchari Recipe


I LOVE this dish… It truly is healing.

I first tried this recipe on a yoga retreat. My beautiful step-mother-in-law created it for dinner one evening and I was hooked!

I LOVED how delicious and nurturing the dish felt. The smell, texture, and brightness of the spices lures any human, who is pulled to healing, right in.

Kitchari (kitch-a-ree) is a healing soup that is gently formulated with mung beans and rice along with other ingredients to restore proper nutrition back into the body. The soup itself is meant to calm the intestinal track and relight the ‘angi,’ or fire, in the belly.

In Eastern Ayurvedic teachings, proper health and nutrition begin in the digestive tract. Kitchari cleansing involves a mono-diet that is easy for the body to break down and process with each day targeting a specific organ.” (Source)

There are several variations to a basic kitcheri recipe and the one below is basic, easy to start with, and balancing to all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha).  (Learn more about the Doshas here)

You will find that the ingredients are readily available at most health food and East Indian grocery stores. Also, the spices can be sourced online.

If you don’t wish to source every ingredient, another option is the Banyan Botanicals, they provide a Kitchari Spice Mix all put together and the mung dal. You can also find the spice mix on Amazon  and the organic Mung Dal.

I highly recommend soaking rice and mung dal, separately,  in water overnight! Add 1 tbsp. of ACV or lemon juice to the rice and water when you soak and 1 tbsp. of baking soda to the mung dal and water to soak. 

Let’s do this:


  • 2-3 TBS ghee (clarified butter) or organic virgin coconut oil 
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 large or 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed 
  • 1 small pinch of asafoetida (“hing”) powder (Link to buy)
  • ½ cup split yellow mung dal, rinsed well, soaked overnight and drained. (It is best to use mung dal with the hulls still on if you tend toward constipation).
  • 1 tsp rock salt (celtic sea salt)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked overnight, rinsed well and drained. I also love using sprouted rice as well.
  • 4 ½ cups vegetable stock or homemade bone broth  (if using a pressure cooker or about 6 cups if using a regular pot)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. of grated fresh or powdered ginger 
  • 1 can of coconut cream (optional) 

Recommended Garnish:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Freshly grated ginger root
  • Fresh spinach
  • Lime
  • Drizzled olive oil


  • Soak rice and mung dal overnight separately.
    • Add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or juice from 1/2 lemon in bowl with rice and water.  
    • Add 1 tbsp of baking soda in a bowl with mung dal and water. 
    • Make sure water covers rice and mung dal completely. 
  • Using either a pressure cooker (much faster) or a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee on medium heat.
  • Sauté the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the ghee until the seeds pop.
  • Add onion and sauté, followed by garlic and carrots.
  • Then add the drained mung dal, asafoetida powder, turmeric and salt.
  • Stir until the mix almost starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Then add the rice, broth, cumin powder, coriander powder and ginger. Stir well, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pressure cooker or pot.

If you are using a pressure cooker:

  • Fasten the lid on and turn the heat to high, press "Manual" and adjust to 15 minutes.
  • Once the pressure has built up, turn the setting to "Slow cook" and adjust to medium temperature. 
  • Release pressure.  Then take the cooker off the heat and let it sit until there is no more pressure and you can safely open the lid.
  • Stir immediately. 
  • Add in a whole can of coconut cream and stir. 
  • Cook for another 30 minutes. 
  • Serve with optional garnish (below) 

If you’re using a regular pot:

  • Cover and bring it to a boil on high heat.
  • Then turn the heat down and let it simmer until both the rice and dahl are mushy.

You may have to experiment with how much liquid (water or broth) you use to find a consistency that you like. (The more water, the thinner the consistency). A thinner consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak. You will notice that Kitcheri will thicken when it cools and you may need more water or broth  than you originally thought.

Garnishes will enhance the dish and bring more nourishment to your body.

Have you made Kitchari before? Are you going to try this dish? Please share!

In health and wellness,

Becky Wells
NTP, Clean Living Educator & Advocate 



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