Kitchari in the Kitchen: Cleansing and Calming Food


Kitchari is a beautifully nourishing dish that is both cleansing and easy to digest.

Kitchari – catchy name don’t you think? – means mixture, in this case of two grains. It’s a traditional Indian dish made of split yellow mung beans and basmati rice, combined with earthy and aromatic spices.

cleansing kitchari

The spices used are traditionally whole instead of ground, and really add to Kitchari’s unique flavour profile. To ease digestion, white rice is included as it’s easier to digest than brown rice. This is all about being a comfort food that is cleansing and nourishing to boot.

Kitchen Kitchari

Kitchari’s consistency can be either like a stew or a light soup. It will happily adapt to how you’re feeling on the day, so it’s fine to add more water or broth to this recipe if you wish. The combination of the rice and mung dal creates a complete protein profile to benefit energy levels and satiety. The mung beans also provide plenty of fibre, helping to remove toxins from the body and additionally boost a gentle cleanse.

kitchari cleanse



2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed

1 cup dried split yellow mung dal, rinsed

2 carrots, chopped

8 cups water

2-3 cups kale, spinach or baby spinach, finely chopped

½ cup coriander or parsley leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 lime


  • Heat coconut oil in large lidded saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and chilli flakes to the pot and stir gently until the mustard seeds begin to ‘pop’.
  • Add the rest of the spices and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the rice, mung dal and carrots, evenly coating in the spices.
  • Pour in the 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Occasionally give the pot a stir, checking that the rice is not sticking to the bottom. For a thicker stew an option is to simmer for a little longer, or for a soup-like texture add some additional water.
  • Once cooked to your liking, turn off the heat. Add the chopped kale and salt. Stir in, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. Add additional salt to taste.
  • Serve with herb leaves stirred through and lime juice drizzled over the top.