Kitchari: An Ayurvedic Mind/Body Balancing Dish

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dahlFood can be medicine for both your body and your mind. In Ayurvedic medicine Kitchari is an important one – pot staple dish. It has been considered the perfect protein in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is an excellent meal for convalescents, children, the elderly and especially for when you feel depleted.

It’s healing and very soothing to your digestive system; it’s also an incredibly light meal that encourages a buoyant spirit.

I’m currently making this dish at least 3 times a week and hence the reason why I’m sharing it with you today. The following recipe was given to me by my Ayurvedic practitioner as a recommendation to improve the efficiency of my digestive system.

Please feel free to adjust the recipe as you choose. You will find there are lots of variations out there on the internet.

The main ingredients are always rice, moong dhal (green mung beans that, when split, are yellow) and digestive spices. The important thing is to use flavors that appeal to you. You may also find that the spelling changes slightly.


◾1 cup of split moong dhal lentils (moong is light yellow in colour – if you can’t find, use the small light red split dhal – it is also known as mung). Rinse and soak the moong dhal for at least 2 hours beforehand.
◾1 cup of basmati rice
◾4 teaspoons of turmeric (I use a combination of both fresh and powdered turmeric)
◾1 tspn asafoetida (also known as food of the gods, or hing) Buy from Indian food store or health food shop.
◾6 crushed cardamon pods
◾2 tsp salt ( I use a good organic sea salt)

Place washed rice and soaked dhal into a pot with all the above ingredients

Cover with 4cm – 5cm with water, then simmer

If you like a soupier dhal then add more water

Simmer until the dhal has lost its shape and has a nice velvety texture

I usually cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours

Garnish with coriander

1: Replace the above spices of turmeric and cardamon with 1 tspn of each of the following ground coriander, black pepper, garam masala, cummin powder

2: 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tspn cummin powder, 1/2 tspn fennel powder, 1/2 tspn black pepper, 1 tspn salt, fresh ginger, 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, ghee.

Useful information:

* Click here for pictures and more information on moong dhal

* Find out more about asafoedita by clicking here:

* Another recipe that you may like, which includes vegetables from Frans House of Ayurveda blog

Thanks Carole for giving Midlifexpress permission to publish this article. You can read more of her excellent writing at her blog

Carole Fogarty

Carole Fogarty runs retreats and you can read her blog at:

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