Recipe by Lancelot Stukaloff (@lancelot_stukaloff)
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes
Kitchari is Ayurvedic comfort food. It is balancing and nourishing on every level - emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This recipe is especially good in the winter, for cleanses, and for calming the mind and body. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To do a kitchari cleanse, simply eat only kitchari for every meal for as many days as you would like - I eat it almost every day. The recipe makes a lot of food, you will want to use a large pot, or halve the recipe if using a smaller pot. I typically make it on Sunday and Wednesday evenings and reheat it throughout the week.
1 cup dried split yellow mung beans or lentils
1 cup uncooked white basmati rice
2-3 cups chopped vegetables (2-3 types)
2 tablespoons avocado or sesame oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds (yellow or black)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, grated or minced
9-12 cups water (more if you would like it soupy, less for a stew-like consistency)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
If Vata - add 2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid aminos, ¼ teaspoon hing, and 1 teaspoon ajwain
seeds, cilantro to garnish
If Pitta - add 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid aminos, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, cilantro to garnish
If Kapha - substitute quinoa for rice, add 3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ½
teaspoon ground cloves, cilantro to garnish
Vata: sweet potato, squash, green beans, okra, carrots, peas
Pitta: zucchini, green beans, asparagus, carrots, celery
Kapha: cauliflower, broccoli, potato, green beans, spinach, kale, chard
1. Place the beans and rice in a bowl of water, and rinse a few times to clear debris. Fill the
bowl with water and allow the beans and rice to soak while you prepare the recipe, for
up to an hour.
2. Wash and chop the vegetables.
3. Heat the oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they start
to pop, add in all of the spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, and any of the optional
spices you have chosen to use. This mixture of oil and spices is called the vagar. Cook
for about 1 minute, or until aromatic. Spices burn quickly; do not allow them to smoke. If
necessary, you can remove the pot from the heat during this step.
4. Stir the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger into the vagar.
5. Drain the rice and beans, and them to the vagar. Stir until the rice and beans are coated.
Allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the water to the pot and stir. Add the chopped vegetables and stir again. Cover the
pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
7. Lower the heat to a simmer. Place the lid slightly askew to let out steam. Simmer until
the water is absorbed - about 15 minutes - or until the kitchari is the consistency you
desire. It can be like a soup or more stew-like depending on your preference.
8. Add the salt and pepper (and Bragg’s, if using) towards the end of cooking.
9. Remove from the heat. Garnish if desired.
10. To reheat uneaten portions, add some water to the pot and heat over a medium heat. Do not microwave or freeze the kitchari.
When preparing and cooking food, try to be fully present and engage all your senses. When you are fully present, the sounds, smells, and sight of the food you are preparing will offer clues about when to add the next ingredient, when to take the food off the heat, and how to combine it with other foods. As you cook with mindfulness, you will soon begin to cook by feel rather than by following a recipe. The food will “speak” to you, and your sense will let you know what is needed. In this way, your food will nourish all of your senses.
This recipe was adapted from Ayurveda: Beginner’s Guide by Susan Weis-Bohlen.