Intestinal Calming Kitchari

One of the most famous medicinal foods in Ayurveda is kitchari. It is a dish made from whole mung beans and brown basmati rice and is believed to balance all three doshas (Vata- Pitta- Kapha).


Some of its healing properties include detoxification of the body, purification of the digestive system, nourishment of the intestines and support of the tissues. Kitchari is used in Ayurvedic detox programs and cleansing mono diets, where it is eaten as the only food in small portions throughout the day. It provides the body with all the necessary nutrients and gives the digestive system peace and ease. When you combine whole mung beans with brown basmati rice and gut-supporting spices and herbs, you get a complete meal, high in fiber and protein, in a highly digestible form.


I give you a basic recipe for a simple kitchari. You can easily modify it by adding herbs, greens and vegetables that are good for your body's constitution. I love it with cooked broccoli and cilantro, with shredded zucchini and parsley leaves, or with sautéed squash and spinach.


Recipe (ingredients for 4 servings):

1 cup* whole mung beans

1 cup brown basmati rice

6-7 cups of water

2 bay leaves

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seed

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp Himalayan salt

Pinch of asafoetida

5 cm ginger root

20 g fresh coriander

Juice of half a lime


Optional additions:

1 cup chopped vegetables, e.g. spinach or baby spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard, dandelion leaves

1 cup broccoli in small florets

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup shredded zucchini


*Cup is 250ml


Preparation method:


Step 1.

Wash mung beans and rice and soak them in a pan of cold water for at least 3 hours or overnight. Drain the water and rinse the mung beans and rice under running water for 1 minute.


Step 2.

Peel and grate the ginger very finely.


Step 3.

Bring a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let them splutter. Add the rest of the spices, grated ginger, mung beans and rice and stir to combine.


Step 4.

Add salt and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for at least 40 minutes, stirring regularly. When the mung beans and rice are quite soft (but you can't easily squeeze them between your fingers), add some vegetables, if you choose to add them. Stir them in and let them cook together for another 5-7 minutes. By this time, the mung beans and rice should be completely soft and the kitchari should have a porridge-like consistency. Add more water if too thick and adjust with Himalayan salt to taste.


Step 5.

Take your favorite bowl and add a portion of kitchari. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. You can also add some of the extra herbs, vegetables or greens.


You can store kitchari in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze immediately in smaller portions and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Related articles

Monika DeBoer


I offer holistic energetic therapy and nutritional coaching that appeals to you as a unique and whole person. I am also a teacher of Energetic Massage at Healing Space Institute in Bussum, the Netherlands. My mission is to help people live in a state of optimal health and wellness and reconnect them with their body's innate wisdom and healing power.


More about who I am

My offer