Nourishing Food


Kitchari is a seasoned mixture of rice and mung dal that gives strength and vitality. It’s particularly helpful at the junctures of seasons when digestion can be slow or there is increased gas or inflammation. In Ayurveda it is used as a mono-diet, generally preferred over fasting. It is an excellent protein combination, is easy to digest, and is nourishing for all the tissues of the body. This recipe is suitable for all constitutions but is especially good for vata dominant constitution.

Kitchari Recipe
Serves 4.

-1 cup basmati rice*
-1/2 cup yellow split mung dal
-3 tablespoons ghee
-1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
-1 teaspoon cumin seeds
-2 pinches hing
-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 cups water 


Wash the mung dal and rice well. Let the mung dal soak between 30 minutes – 2 hours. It helps with digestibility.

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 rice, mung dal, turmeric and salt and stir until well blended with the spices. 

Add the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Turn down the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes. 

*Basmati Rice translates as the ‘queen of fragrance’. It is easy to digest and regarded in Ayurveda as a cleansing and healing food for all body types.

is a digestive, pungent with bitter taste. It aids absorption and eliminates gas. 

Ghee stimulates digestive juices yet is cooling. Though made from butter, it does not increase cholesterol. It helps to improve assimilation, memory, and lubricates the connective tissue. It remains stable under high temperatures.

Hing (Asafoetida)  promotes digestion and circulation. It’s smelly, of the earth, and in turn enhances stamina. It promotes deeper assimilation of nutrients in the small intestine. It is a good substitute for garlic and onions.

Mustard Seed is heating and penetrating. It is a good digestive and helpful for the lungs.

Turmeric is a blood cleanser. It encourages intestinal flora, reduces inflammation, stiffness, and nourishes the joints..

Recipe from Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing, Usha Lad & Dr. Vasant Lad