May 30, 2013

My Favorite Kitchari Recipe.

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.


  • >> 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.


* 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.

Bonus round:

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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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Opal Barton Dec 28, 2014 6:45am

That looks deeeee-lish ! So no matter all the comments . I am gonna try it ! Thanks Hayley !

Carrie Apr 21, 2014 6:05pm

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

Kristen Oct 20, 2013 3:11am

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!

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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 her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.