My Favorite Kitchari Recipe.

Via on May 29, 2013

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About a month ago, I did an Ayurvedic cleanse.

I was required to eat kitchari every day since it has a ton of protein but it’s so easy to digest. I spent time searching through recipes so I wouldn’t get bored.

Since then, it’s become a staple in my diet. It’s something I look forward to not only eating, but cooking as well!

It’s really easy to make, relatively inexpensive (especially if you have some of the spices at home), and of course it has many incredible health benefits.

One of the versions I actually like best is one that was inspired from a recipe I found on my friend Paula Burton’s blog, Urban Girl Wellness. This recipe can be found on my blog. I encourage you to discover what your dosha is and incorporate spices and ingredients that work well for your constitution. (Click here to take the Chopra Center Dosha quiz to discover yours.)

So, what’s kitchari and what does it have to do with Ayurveda and, more importantly, you?

Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that’s known to assist in detoxing the body and balancing all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Kitchari provides awesome nutrients while cleansing the toxins out of the body. It’s a great way to cleanse the body and soul in a gentle way.

Kitchari is made with mung beans, Basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee and spices. The mung beans are known for their ability to remove toxins, specifically pesticides and insecticides, from the body. Mung beans are also a great source of protein and provide a source of good carbohydrates and fiber. It’s also a great dish for those having digestive problems and recovering from illness.  There’s many versions of Kitchari out there from simple to more elaborate.

Ingredients

  • >> 1/2 cup of dry green mung beans

  • >> 1/2 cup of dry mung dal (split yellow)

  • >> 1 cup high quality Indian Basmati Rice (good Indian rice makes all the difference!)

  • >> 4-6 cups water (more water will make it soupier)

  • >> 6-7 cups assorted vegetables (My favorite fall veggies in this recipe include: yam, carrots, zucchini, and cilantro to garnish.)

  • >> Traditional is 2-3 tablespoons ghee (Clarified butter. You can find ghee at your local health food store), but I use coconut oil.

  • >> 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced

  • >> 1 tablespoon turmeric

  • >> 1 tablespoon cumin (I add a little more cumin. I love the grounding, earthy flavor of it.)

  • >> 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

  • >> 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • >> 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • >> 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • >> 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

  • >> 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink sea salt (or regular sea salt)

  • >> 1 stick of Kombu (seaweed)

  • >> 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Puttin’ it Together

  • >> Prep Ahead: Wash the mung beans and soak them in water overnight for four to eight hours (this helps with digestion).

  • >> In a large skillet or wok, melt the ghee (or coconut oil) until it’s in liquid form.

  • >> Add seeds to the ghee and saute until you hear the seeds pop.

  • >> Quickly add the spices, ginger, rice and beans to the mix. Coat the rice and beans with the spices and seeds (important to do all these steps fairly quickly so you don’t burn the spices).

  • >> Slowly add in the water.

  • >> Add the vegetables and lightly stir all the ingredients.

  • >> Bring water to a boil.

  • >> Lower heat, cover and cook for another 45 to 60 minutes.

  • >> Stir in the salt at the very end.

  • >> This recipes makes 4-6 servings. Melt a little more ghee or coconut oil over the top and garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy!

* Some people say that adding the salt when the beans are still uncooked makes them harder to digest. They recommend adding the salt after the beans have been cooked.

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Ed: Brianna Bemel

About Hayley Hobson

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Hayley creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to strengthen, nourish and evolve through the cycles and shifts in life. Combining cutting edge understanding in all three disciplines due to years of anatomical study and dietary theory, Hayley’s approach leverages their blended benefits and results. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening–empowering her client’s to heal not only their physical bodies, but their hearts and minds as well. Hayley studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, continues her studies with David Wolfe, raw food expert and is an essential oil expert in her own right. Her insights and articles can also be found on her blog, Mindbodygreen and Islaorganics. She has also been featured in Pilates Style magazine, Natural Health magazine and Triathlete Magazine. She has fun running and playing in the mountains with her husband, former world-ranked triathlete, Wes Hobson and their two beautiful daughters, Makenna and Madeline . To learn more about her nutritional courses, events she's hosting and custom programs go to hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.

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19 Responses to “My Favorite Kitchari Recipe.”

  1. Cathy says:

    What are green mung beans and what is mung dal? Is this something you have to get at a special store?

    • LynnBonelli says:

      Mung beans are often used in their sprouted form in Chinese Food (those long white bean sprouts). To find the dried beans (and not the sprouts) you may have to look in the oriental section of the grocery store. Some stores might also have them in the Bulk section or perhaps where they sell the brand "Bob's Red Mill" products (that's where I found mine). Otherwise you may either have to go to a "health food" type store (i.e. Whole Foods, Trader Joes) or an ethnic/oriental grocer. Dal is another name for yellow split peas and should be located near any other dried beans (like lentils, black beans, pinto beans).

  2. Lindsey says:

    Does it refrigerate well so I could make it on Sunday and have it for lunch throughout the week?

  3. Brad says:

    Hayley,

    Sprouted beans are not in ayurveda as well. They create tissue that is malformed and ripe for disease. It happens in the process of digestion at the micro level.

    Nothing is reheated in Ayurveda. It will only create toxicity of the substance when digested.

    Also nothing is refrigerated then reheated . The qualities of refrigeration stay in the food no matter if you heat it up or not. This is the same reason why ghee is not refrigerated. It will stay solid after taking it out of the fridge to higher temperatures. Same as an egg. Lasts for a very long tme if never refrigerated but as soon as you refrigerate it and then take it out of the fridge it will spoil.

    • Brad says:

      and as I have posted twice before and somehow it was not posted, this is not ayurveda at all.
      1. Ayurveda does not put people on quick cleanses like this. Ayurveda has a way of lightening the diet and then building back out of it to not provoke vata. Dietary rash changes provoke vata causing imbalance.
      2. the seaweed addition is not ayurveda at all.
      3. Basmati rice is an inferior for of rice as per Charaka Samhita, one of the main texts of ayurveda.
      4.coconut oil is not used due to its heavy and cold nature, this too is an american bastardization of ayurveda due to lack of education.
      5 just an add on, ayurveda does not eat a raw food diet, it is imbalanced and hard to digest. Adding spices as david wolf has taught does nothing more except create a further imbalance.
      This is what we have in the western world. Lots of uneducated people claiming to do ayurveda and actually harming people. You might not think you are harming people from a western lens, but ayurveda is not a western lens.

      • guest says:

        I think a lot of what happens to us is in our heads.

        I'm not doubting that you're right about classic, standard Ayurvedic practice (about which I know nothing). I'm just saying that we are all powerful creators. If we think we are eating something healthy, and give thanks to this little engine (the body) that works so hard for us — and give thanks also to the fuel we put in it — we will be well.

        Try not to frighten people about good practices. Inducing fear does not induce health.

        Peace

        • megan robinson says:

          i agree with the above … that it is in our head (or our mind)…. and that yes we are powerful creators …. therefore if we think we are eating healthily so it will be… I came to this conclusion after experiencing an imbalance…ill health.. I can't remember what now… but I remember that I thought of the homeopathic remedy that I needed but which I hadn't with me at the time…. and in an instant I felt better again … and I just knew that it was the thought of that remedy that had corrected the imbalance…I also remember telling my sister who is a retired homeopath about it at the time.. she happened to be with me then ….. I now know that if I have eaten something that may not be fully ok?.. I just use my thought processes to "make it good"… I have never experienced a problem with this technique…

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Brad, Do you have a kitchari recipe you could share?

    • Saymoi says:

      There were no left overs when the Samhita was written because food spoiled due to lack of refrigeration! We need to make Ayurveda more accessible to the "western" "modern" "American" whatever you want to call it lifestyle. I would not recommend eating the same kitchari for the whole week, but one to two days of refrigeration is not going to create ama. Not every one can be a Super Sattvic. It's better than eating fast food.

  4. Mary Dewitte says:

    Hi Hayley,

    This is a very interesting recipe. It looks so delicious and easy to do. BTW, I haven't heard about mung beans and mung dal. Where can I buy these ingredients?

  5. Jay says:

    Hi Haley,
    When do you add the Kombu? Is it to soak with the beans overnight? I don't see where it's mentioned other than in the ingredients.
    Thanks!

  6. Delilah says:

    Do you use brown or white rice?

  7. Mike says:

    I love kitchari. I didn't have mung so I used green lentils. From what I understand, green lentils have a skin that is too hard to digest but the recipe is still great with green lentils (just less ayurveda).I found 1 tbsp of sea salt was far too salty. I'd suggest starting with 1.5 tsp and add more to your taste. I'd also recommend staying away from adding acidic vegetables to your kitchari.

  8. Erica says:

    I love this recipe!! And whoever is saying it's bastardized is being a little militant, no?

  9. Michael says:

    looks lovely…to the militant ayurveds…chill out. ancient Vedic scientists didn't have access to everything that people have access to now, and hence, the classical approach might not actually be the best. some people won't eat ghee (if they are vegan perhaps) and coconut oil is a much more viable replacement than most other commercially available oils. as for kombu…that stuff is just great. it improves the digestibility of beans by helping to remove phytic acids, and adds the umami taste (something which ayurveda doesn't cover, but which is an anatomic fact).

    turns out that vedic knowledge is also incomplete. hence the evolution of all spiritual teachings and systems.

    re: salt…if you're not using a very pure salt (like crystal salt), definitely lower the amount.

  10. Kristen says:

    I didn't see a reply to when the kombu is added so I thought I would post again. It seems it would soak with the beans but I wanted to confirm. Thanks!

  11. Carrie says:

    This is the now my favorite kitchari recipe too. Thanks for sharing it!

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