Kitchari is a comforting, nourishing meal commonly used in Ayurveda. It’s used as a healing food – you could say it’s the chicken soup of Ayurveda. It’s base is basmati rice and split mung beans, with spices to aid digestion. It’s commonly eaten during an Ayurvedic cleanse at the turning of the fall and spring seasons. It kindles your digestive fire, improving your digestive strength. I commonly eat it for lunch, as it’s simple to make, it’s got a good mix of protein, fats and carbs, and its yummy! My favorite way to make kitchari is using the instant pot – it’s so easy this way!
1 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cups split mung beans (also called yellow mung dal)
1 tablespoon kitchari spice mix*
2 tablespoons ghee
5-6 cups water
1-2 cups chopped vegetables of your choice
Salt to taste
A few pinches of fresh ground black pepper
Optional: Soak rice and mung beans overnight, then drain and rinse before cooking.
Add the split mung beans and spice mix to your instant pot along with 2 cups of water. Cook on manual setting for 20 minutes. Let it release naturally after cooking for 5-10 minutes. (I often do this step in the morning, then set the IP on a timer to cook a few hours later if I’m making this for lunch).
Add to the instant pot all of the other ingredients. The amount of water varies by how thick you want your kitchari. I usually add 3 additional cups of water here for a thicker stew-like kitchari. If you like soupier kitchari, add the additional cup of water. Vegetables I like using are carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans, beets and cauliflower. Cook on the rice setting (just hit the rice button on the Instant Pot). Enjoy!
Optional: top with fresh cilantro like I did in this photo
*Kitchari Spice mix (makes 3 tbsp):
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cardamom
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