The One Cleanse Recipe You (Actually) Need In Your Life: Kitchari

Kitchari is a staple Ayurvedic dish that is well known to help detox the body and balance all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. If you are looking to "fast" or otherwise to cleanse the body and soul in a much gentler and more efficient manner, kitchari provides the nutrients you need to thrive meanwhile pushing the toxins out of your body. It's made with mung beans, basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee, and spices. The mung beans are well sought after for their ability to remove toxins, specifically pesticides and insecticides, from the body. Furthermore, mung beans are a source of protein and the rice provides ample carbohydrates (and fiber if you're using brown!).

The best part about making this dish is that you can well and truly make it your own - just keep it simple, seasonal, and let the few yet rich flavours and spices take the lead (and limit salt as much as possible). You can throw whatever seasonal vegetables that you have on hand to complete the dish, or keep it to the basic mung bean and rice base. Some tasty options include butternut squash, burdock root, carrots, sweet potatoes, and the list goes on. What's most important is to use what's available locally because Ayurveda is linked to the natural transition of the seasons.

Image from @mindbodygreen


1/2 cup basmati rice 1 cup mung dal (split yellow) 6 cups (approx.) water 2 tsp. ghee 1/2 tsp. coriander powder* 1/2 tsp. cumin powder* 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds* 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds* 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder* 1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)

*or use another spice/curry blend of preference


Rinse the rice and dal 2-3 times. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.

While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that you may have chosen for the dish - you can add them into the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer (you'll have to use your judgment here depending on which veggies you choose!).

In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Serve warm.

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