Kitchari: great for nourishing the body

Kitchari, a seasoned mixture of rice and mung dal (mung bean), is a meal that can nourish all tissues of the body.

by Dr. Meghana Mehta — 

Kitchari, a seasoned mixture of rice and mung dal (mung bean), is a meal that can nourish all tissues of the body. It is rich in protein, yet easy to digest, providing tremendous vitality to any individual.

Ayurvedically, it is a tridoshic meal, which means it is suitable for all three constitutions or doshas — vata, pitta and kapha. It is also excellent for the detoxification and de-aging of cells, as well as for anyone who would like to give their system a rest.



  • 1 cup mung dal beans (split yellow)
  • 2 cups white Basmati rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped or grated
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1-1/2 cups assorted vegetables: zucchini, sweet potato, corn, peas or edamame (optional)
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves


Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash in at least two changes of water. If time allows, let the mung dal soak for a few hours before cooking, as this helps with digestibility. If you have a particularly difficult time digesting beans, you may want to precook them for 20 to 30 minutes in 4 cups of water.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing. Stir a moment until the seeds pop. Add the vegetables and sauté. Add the rice, mung dal and enough water to cover the contents in the saucepan. Add turmeric, fresh ginger root, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, and stir. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add fresh cilantro as a garnish and serve. Can also serve with fresh yogurt on the side. Serves 6.


Dr. Meghana Mehta is a naturopathic physician in Scottsdale, Ariz. Her primary focus is on ayurvedic assessments, nutritional supplementation, and emotional and physical health. or 480-229-8047.  

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 5, October/November 2007.

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