Kitchari is an Indian dish that's a mixture of beans and rice. It's often eaten during an Ayurveda diet cleanse. Many people who don't follow the tenets of Ayurveda — a holistic practice that is based on creating harmony between the body, mind and spirit — like to do a kitchari cleanse because they get to actually eat during the cleanse instead of just drinking.
It's a dish that's easy on the stomach, and it's often given in its basic form to children who are having tummy troubles. It's also a great Meatless Monday dish, especially with the addition of spices and vegetables. Vegetables can be cooked with the rice and beans, or they can sauteed or roasted and added on top after the rice and bean mixture has been dished out.  
It's also an easy, simple dish to make.

Prep time:10 minutes 

Total time:1 hour plus overnight to soak beans

Yields: 4-6 servings



  • 2 cups mung beans that have been soaked overnight
  • 1 cup white or brown basmati rice
  • 1 piece ginger root (about 2-inch piece, minced, or more/less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (see video below for instructions on how to make ghee)
  • 6 cups water
  • Dash Salt
Cooking directions
  1. In a large pot, melt ghee over low heat.
  2. Drain mung beans from the water they have been soaking in. Add beans and rice to the pot with the ghee and stir to coat everything evenly.
  3. Add any spices you'll be using.
  4. Add water, cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until all water has been absorbed.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Serve with added ghee melted on top, if desired.

Additional spices

You can play with the spices and herbs in kitchari, unless you're eating it for an upset stomach, in which case you'll want to keep it simple. These are all commonly added to kitchari, to taste:

  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.