Kitchari Recipe

Catestillman Tags: , , , , , Blog, Body Wisdom, Recipes & Diet 13 comments


kitchari recipe

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Kitchari Recipe for You

I’m frequently asked for a kitchari recipe. Over the last decade I’ve maybe been asked 300 times. One might think I would have posted a kitchari recipe like this in my first blog post and avoided a few dozen of those emails asking for a recipe. If you want the recipe – click the image and print it. And if you’re wondering why so many people want to eat kitchari, read on.

Why Kitchari + Ayurveda:

Kitchari is the traditional detox food of Ayurveda. The philosophy is simple. The body detoxes when it is given the opportunity. Lighten up what you eat, and nourish the 6 tastes, and 5 senses at the same time, and voila, you’ve created the opportunity.

Kitchari is a considered a complete food in Ayurveda. You can eat it for weeks. Or do kitchari for a day. It’s like baby food. Simple to cook and digest … and then you don’t have to worry about food for the day.

Kitchari is also a great transition food. Whenever you lose interest in food, go to kitchari until a more complex  cuisine beckons you to diversify. If you’re stuck in a rut, or your habits are hellacious… go to kitchari for a day or two.

What is Kitchari?kitchari recipe

Kitchari, kitcharee, kicharee however you spell it is the most basic nourishing meal from the Indian sub-continent. It’s a mushy mix of rice and beans. Turmeric turns it yellow and enables g.i. tract reparation and optimization. Other spices are added to warm the gut, digest ama, and work their adaptogenic magic. All in all, kitchari is the simplest healing meal that you can live off indefinitely. Mung beans are used because they are the easiest legume to digest. White basmati rice is traditionally used for it’s not-too-heavy, not-too-warming, not-too-drying qualities which help Kaphas, Pittas, and Vatas respectively. However a zillion variations exist which affect the doshas in all sorts of combinations. Dr. Cousens has a raw buckwheat version in a few cookbooks.. but most of the Yogidetoxers find it unpalatable.

When to eat Kitchari:

  • you’re stressed out or overwhelmed
  • you’re sickScreen Shot 2013-01-25 at 11.53.52 AM
  • you’re cravings are unhealthy
  • you need a change of diet
  • you need to give your body a break
  • you’re too busy to prepare other food and need deep nourishment

Vegetables in Kitchari

This recipe is the most basic for detox or rejuvenation. Adding 2-3 cups of vegetables is a good idea. The strict detoxers might not add vegetables to their kitchari. This is bizarre to my body as I need vegetables to poop. Take out the vegetables … no poop. Many people suffer from constipation on the kitchari monodiet. If this is you… definitely add lots of vegetables, and more water to the recipe as well.

  • Add diced roots in the last 20 minutes of cooking: carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, or sweet potato.
  •  Stir in greens when done cooking. Allow to sit for a few minutes: kale, chard, collards, celery,or shredded fennel
  • Stir in delicate greens just before serving: spinach, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower sprouts.

Kitchari Troubleshooting

If kitchari makes you constipated … add beets and sprouts. Radish sprouts are particularly good for this.
If kitchari tastes bland to you… add more spice. Go crazy. Add cayenne or hot sauce… unless your pitta is spiking. Then just add more cilantro, mint and lime juice.
If you’re looking at this recipe and thinking… I need more calories then add fat. Replace half the water with chicken stock or add a cup of coconut milk. Works wonders for Vata.

Have a kitchari suggestion? Leave a comment below.

About Cate Stillman

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Bloom - January 31, 2013

Do a Kitchari cleanse! Yummy recipe!

Bloom Yoga Instruction - January 31, 2013

Do a Kitchari cleanse! Yummy recipe!

Bria @ Yoga with Bria - April 12, 2013

Just tried this recipe. It’s great. Next time, I will probably double the spices and have more water handy. I think I used at least 8 cups, maybe more. All in all, was a very therapeutic, easy cooking experience and it tasted great with cilantro, etc. Thanks, Cate!

Cerine McGregor - April 15, 2013

Just made this! mmmmmmm

Shani Izabella Russell - April 15, 2013

that looks really yummy

Shani Izabella Russell - April 15, 2013

that looks really yummy

Danielle Monique - June 16, 2013


Latia - July 13, 2013

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why
throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

Jo-Anne Stutley - August 3, 2013

great to discover you.x.

Jo-Anne Stutley - August 3, 2013

great to discover you.x.

becky - September 19, 2013

I have done the kitchari cleanse for 7 days and it is amazing! You have to prepare yourself for this and include sesame oil massage ,calming thoughts and Triphala or detox teas to ~ yep help you poop! I did a Epsom salt bath with lavender, dry brushing.

It’s plenty of food and you don’t think about food. My question… does the rice have any effect on weight? Because it is a carb and you eat this 2x a day, I didn’t want to gain . I really want to lose about 5 lbs. any suggestions? I didn’t seem to gain or lose but worried about the impact of the carbs. I want to do another cleanse for the fall.

Koren Norton - November 17, 2013

What else do I eat besides this menu? For example for breakfast and dinner and for an king in between?

Koren Norton - November 17, 2013

What else do I eat besides this menu? For example for breakfast and dinner and for an king in between?

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