Nutritious Ayurvedic Breakfast

Congee is one of the healing foods for the digestive system in both Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. It is an extremely simple dish, with a consistency of very thin porridge, made from white rice (jasmine or basmati), water and spices. The secret ingredient here is time. The longer congee is cooked, the more medicinal it becomes.


Some of its healing properties include toning the blood, harmonizing the digestive system, nourishing the gut, and boosting immunity by strengthening the body. The Chinese combined congee with various medicinal herbs, vegetables or beans and used it to treat a wide variety of common health problems.


While the original recipe calls for white rice, it can be made with brown rice, sticky black rice, or grains such as millet, teff, or spelt. For whole grains, increase the cooking time and amount of water.


I often soak the rice during the day and let it cook at night, which is much more convenient. I put it in the fridge overnight and warm up a portion in the morning with some vegetable milk or water and fresh or dry toppings.


Recipe (ingredients for 4 servings):


1 cup* white jasmine rice

6 cups of water

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

Pinch of Himalayan salt


Optional additions per serving:


2 -3 tbsp almond or coconut milk

1 – 2 tsp coconut blossom sugar or maple syrup

Fresh: very ripe pear, apple or few figs

Dry: Medjool dates, figs, raisins, mulberries


*Cup is 250 ml


Preparation method:


Step 1.

Soak jasmine rice in cold water overnight. In the morning, strain and rinse the rice under running water. This step makes the rice even more digestible by breaking down enzyme inhibitors.


Step 2.

Add jasmine rice, water, salt, and spices to a medium non-stick saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook for 2-4 hours. Stir occasionally and add a little more water if necessary. It should have the consistency of a very thick soup when done.


Step 3.

Before serving, stir in some coconut or almond milk, coconut blossom sugar or maple syrup and garnish with fresh or dried fruit.


You can store the congee in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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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.


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