In Ayurveda, kitchari is a standard for detoxing and resetting the body. Eating a mono-diet of simply prepared and nourishing kitchari gives the body a break to unlock your natural energy and restore the digestive sysytem. The tasty spices in this dish not only create a satisfying meal but they help to restore balance to the subtle body. It’s like the chicken soup of the east.

Kitchari is a simple blend of cooked mung beans, rice and spices. This is the different approach of detoxing used in ayurveda. In todays culture detoxing is marketed as cold, raw liquids and superfoods which have their place, but this shift in perspective allows a different style of detoxing without feeling depleted or underfed. The cooked and warming nature of this dish is easily broken down by the digestive system which helps to restore the agni.

In Ayurveda, the health on an individual begins in the gut. Your health is reliant on your ability to breakdown and process what you eat, your agni is responsible for this. Hence kitchari is not only used to balance and restore the agni in your digestive system, but in this newly kindled fire (agni) the immune system is ignited and recharged.

There are many variations of kitchari and it can be altered to meet your individual needs.

-Try using different grains such as millet, amaranth, quinoa.

-Additional herbs or spices! Ginger or cayenne.

-Grain-free version using riced cauliflower instead of rice. If so use less water for beans, add the riced cauliflower after the mung has cooked.

Basic Recipe

What you need


  • 1 cup mung dal (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbs ghee
  • 1 tsp each: black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed, fenugreek, coriander powder
  • 2 cardamom pods, 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cups chopped seasonal vegetables
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

How to do it


  • rinse the soaked mung beans until the water runs clean
  • heat ghee in a pot and toast the herbs and spices (minus the cardamom and bay leaf) on low heat until aromatic, stir in the beans and rice
  • Add water, cardamom, bay leaves, and chopped vegetables. Leave any quick cooking, delicate vegetables (greens) out until last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook one hour, checking regularly. Add water as needed to keep a soupy consistency.
  • Season with salt to your liking, top with cilantro, fresh lime or lemon juice, more ghee or sesame seeds!

Your body knows how to cleanse and heal itself, all it takes is supporting it along the way.

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Published by Alec Hurley

Alec Hurley is a Yoga Health Coach, yoga teacher in the San Diego area and a life long surfer. He is the founder of Higher Self Wellness and an avid practitioner of ancient wisdom and spiritual practices which he infuses into his public yoga classes and group program “The Art of Connection”. He is professionally trained as a Chef and incorporates the ancient wisdom of “food as medicine” into his culinary creations. Alec infuses the practices of personal and planetary alignment into his modern healthy lifestyle toolkit to help shift the collective into deeper states of connection.

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