Have You Heard of the Ayurvedic Healing Dish, Kitchari?

Kitchari is easy to make & versatile in the many ways in which you can prepare it. Kitchari is appropriate for all doshas & you can focus on reducing or increasing a particular dosha simply by adjusting the spices & vegetables that you choose to include.

Kitchari is a simple meal of basmati rice, mung dahl, ghee & spices. When undergoing an Ayurvedic cleanse, a mono-diet of kitchari is always recommended due to the body’s ease in digesting; giving your digestive tract a much-needed break. During this break, your body is given the time it needs to focus on cleansing & detoxifying its systems, allowing for deeper healing to occur. Ghee is an essential component to this dish because it provides moisture to the mucous membranes of your body, heals & soothes the digestive tract & lubricates the joints. Appropriate spices are an equally as necessary component to kitchari because they help to stimulate & balance your agniotherwise known as your digestive fire.

Below we share with you one of our favorite go-to kitchari recipes for the summer, created by author, teacher & Ayurvedic practitioner, Amadea Morningstar. In her recipe, Amadea includes cooling herbs such as burdock root, an ideal summer ally, which assists in cleansing the kidneys & the blood. The inclusion of fennel, cumin & coriander in her recipe support digestion, while also helping to minimize skin breakouts by balancing excess pitta dosha, which is responsible for sensitive, blemish-prone skin.

Please note, if you are vegan, feel free to substitute the ghee for coconut oil. Coconut oil is a perfect summertime cooking oil!

Amadea Morningstar’s Cooling Kitchari

The Ayurvedic Cookbook

½ cup basmati rice

¼ cup split mung dahl

½ cup burdock root, (about 8 inches)

1.5 cup green beans

2 tablespoons ghee

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon amaranth

1 stick kombu

6 to 10 cups water

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon coriander powder

*you can also substitute the fennel, cumin and coriander with 4 1/2 tsp. of our Tridoshic Spice Blend.

Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves; yogurt is a nice addition as well but should be used in moderation if trying to balance pitta

Additional veggies for pitta season: spinach, zucchini, bok choy, kale & chard

Wash rice & mung until the water is clear; drain. Wash burdock root & peel it; then slice to 1-inch slices like a carrot. Wash green beans; chop into 1-inch pieces.

Warm ghee in a medium saucepan. Add fennel & cumin seeds & sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add rice & mung & sauté for another couple of minutes. Put burdock & green beans in immediately after the rice & beans, stir sauté for one minute. Add 6 cups of water & bring to a boil. Put kombu, amaranth, & salt in once the kitchari has come to a boil & reduce to medium-low heat. Cover & cook until tender, 1 to 1.5 hours, adding water as needed to keep the mixture moist.

Before serving, add the coriander powder, stir well. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro leaves & yogurt to preference.


Image courtesy of Carly Beaudin, RYT & Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist

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