Kitchari (A.K.A. Indian Comfort Food)

I first discovered Kitchari when I was visiting the Kripalu Center for a day of yoga a few years back. It was delicious, comforting, and filling without feeling too heavy or spicy. I started making it at home and have modified the recipe to suit my tastes. I love swirling in a big spoonful of Swad Coriander Chutney before eating it, but it also tastes good plain and can be very soothing to a sensitive stomach. Some say it has cleansing and healing properties, which you can read about here.  


  • 2-3 tbs ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp small pinch of asafoetida ( also know as “hing”)
  • ½ cup split yellow mung dal, rinsed well (you can also use whole green mung beans that have been soaked) or urad dal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed well and drained.
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 4-5 thin slices of fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup diced carrots (optional)


In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee on medium. Sauté the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the ghee until they begin to pop. Then add the drained mung dal, asafoetida powder, turmeric and salt. Stir until the mix almost starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the rice, water, cumin powder, coriander powder and ginger. If using carrots, add them now. Stir well and then cover and bring it to a boil on high heat. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until both the rice and mung beans are mushy. Everything will thicken further as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems a little loose.


Serve with cilantro chutney or fresh cilantro and lime juice. Enjoy!

Store leftovers in fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

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