Kitchari means “mixture”, usually of two grains, and is a comfort food found—in countless variations—across South Asia. Traditionally made of yellow mung beans, basmati rice, digestive spices and ghee, kitchari is considered a cleansing and detoxifying food in Ayurveda.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Ayurveda Mama for a kitchari that she recommends for a Spring cleanse (make a big pot every morning and eat it for three meals a day for 5-7 days).
Kitchari is usually porridge-like and a little mushy—you can adjust the texture by adding more, or less, water when cooking.
Shopping List & Prep (serves 4)
2 cups brown basmati rice
2 cups Indian split yellow mung lentils, rinsed
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch kale or other dark green veg, like chard, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece ginger, peeled & minced or grated
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges (optional)
½ tsp whole mustard seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP ghee or coconut oil, plus more for serving
- Melt ghee or coconut oil in large Dutch oven with lid over medium heat
- Sprinkle in the mustard seeds and allow to saute for 1-2 minutes
- Add the rest of the spices, stir
- Add garlic and ginger and simmer until the mustard seeds begin to pop
- Add herbs and kale, stir until covered with the spices
- Add more ghee or oil, if needed.
- Add rice and drained mung beans, stir to coat with herb/kale mixture
- Add 8-9 cups water (less if you want drier, more if you prefer it more soupy), bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to low and cover, simmer for 50 minutes
- To serve, garnish with lime juice, chopped cilantro, and/or ghee.