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Kitchari: Mung Bean Stew with Basmati Rice

ISSUED // February 28

Mung bean dahl

Why we love this recipe

Kitchari is the easiest solid food to digest. Ayurveda offers kitchari, a recipe that Ayurvedic experts consider a vital food for restoring balance to body and mind. This recipe is used in Ayurvedic cleansing therapy, because of its ease of digestion and assimilation. This is especially good during the transition of the seasons.

This is also known as sattvic food, suitable for anyone at any age. Traditional kitchari is a combination of split mung beans and basmati rice. The great thing about kitchari is that additional spices or vegetables can be added to this recipe according to one’s constitution.

Split mung beans (or dahl) can be found at most health food stores.

Basmati rice is the most digestible. Be sure to add even more water, as the rice absorbs it quickly, and kitchari should be thin and runny.

 Preparation Time: 45 minutes 


  • ½ cup of basmati rice
  • ¼ cup of split mung beans
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • 2-3 teaspoons of ghee or olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch of red chili or cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly-grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of asafoetida powder (also known as hing)
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
  • Salt to taste (½ to ¼ teaspoon)
  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, leeks
  • 4-5 stems of cilantro, washed and chopped
  • ½ cup of spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons of dry shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice


  1. Sort through the mung beans and remove any debris, such as rocks or sticks.
  2. Rinse the mung beans and rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  3. In a pot, heat the ghee or oil on medium heat and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, red chili, and ginger in this order and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the mung beans, basmati rice, and vegetables, then add water and salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to low.
  6. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until mung beans are soft and completely cooked.
  7. Top with cilantro leaves, coconut, and spinach, add fresh lemon juice at the end, and stir nicely.

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