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 mung beans (whole, soaked at least 6 hours or overnight)
  • 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)
  • limes, cut into wedges (optional)
  • ½ tsp whole mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP ghee or coconut oil, plus more for serving


  1. Melt ghee or coconut oil in large Dutch oven with lid over medium heat
  2. Sprinkle in the mustard seeds and allow to saute for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add the rest of the spices, stir
  4. Add garlic and ginger and simmer until the mustard seeds begin to pop
  5. Add herbs and kale, stir until covered with the spices
  6. Add more ghee or oil, if needed.
  7. Add rice and drained mung beans, stir to coat with herb/kale mixture
  8. Add 8-9 cups water (less if you want drier, more if you prefer it more soupy), bring to a boil
  9. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmer for 50 minutes
  10. To serve, garnish with lime juice, chopped cilantro, and/or ghee.