One of Ayurveda's most beloved foods, Kitchari (aka kicharee, kitcheree, kitchari, kichadi, etc.) is something like a casserole: warm, soft, and comforting. This one-pot dish is wonderfully nutritious and is a balanced meal. Round it out with some steamed greens, and dinner is served!
This recipe is tri-doshic (ie: balancing to all three doshas).
Servings 4
Author Katrina Svoboda Johnson


  • 1 c. mung dal (or mung bean)
  • 1 c. rice (ie: white Basmati)
  • sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. rock salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida / hing
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. fennel powder (optional)
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated or chopped


  • Soak the mung dal in water for a half hour or longer, then drain. 
    *Note: IF you are using mung BEAN, soak it overnight.
  • Wash the rice in 2–3 changes of cool water until the water runs clear.
  • Cover the bottom of a dutch oven pot with enough sesame oil to coat the bottom. Warm the oil until a drop of water on the oil causes a sizzle. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Heat the seeds until they begin to pop and you can smell them. 
  • Add the drained mung dal. Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes. 
  • Add the rock salt, turmeric powder, and asafoetida. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring often to avoid the dal sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the water, rice, remaining herbs, and ginger. 
  • Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until all of the water has cooked off, approximately a half hour.


You may alter this recipe in any number of ways:
  • add one can of coconut milk (balancing to Vata and Pitta)
  • add dried fruit (balancing to Vata and Pitta)
  • add nuts (balancing to Vata and Pitta)
  • add vegetables such as carrots, onions, shallots, garlic, broccoli (balancing to Vata and Kapha)
  • use vegetable or chicken stock (balancing to Vata)
  • add more water for a more soupy kitcheree (balancing to Vata)
  • use warming spices such as cinnamon and black pepper (balancing to Vata and Kapha)
  • use cooling spices and herbs such as cilantro (balancing to Pitta)
  • increase that amount of dal relative to rice to be more Kapha-balancing (ie: ½ cup rice to 1½ cups dal).