This recipe was given to us by Ayurvedic Practitioner Allison Bransfield Morse, Panchakarma Specialist and director of The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont.  We spoke with Allison about this special dish and how one can vary it. Because although there are many steps to the recipe, especially if one is fairly new to cooking, the end result can seem ‘plain and simple, as it should be’. Especially so, if one is doing a home cleanse and eating a mono-diet of kitchari. Her recommendation for making a delicious batch: ‘Make it your own’. Check out the suggestions below.

Choose your own vegetables. Use those you love or try something new. Vary the spices. Not a fan of cilantro? No problem. Try parsley or even Italian spices. Need more zip and zest? Double the quantity of spices for added flavor. You can also change the amount of water you use, adding more for a ‘soupier’ dish and less for a heartier dish.

Do you have a favorite variation? Share in the comments section below!

Basic KitchariKitchari Recipe

Serves 4-6.

1 ½  cups yellow split mung dhal or green mung (moong) dhal
1 cup basmati rice
6 cups water
1 tablespoon ghee or 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 1-inch pieces of ginger root (chopped)
½ teaspoon turmeric or 2 1-inch pieces of fresh turmeric root (chopped)
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon garam masala powder (Indian grocery, ok if you don’t have)
salt, to taste
fresh cilantro
unsweetened coconut
veggies of your choice

Wash the rice and mung dhal well.  It is best to let the dhal soak for at least 4 hours or overnight, before cooking. This helps with digestion.

In a large pot, add the dhal, rice and water and bring to a boil.  Turn immediately to a very low simmer, cover slightly and cook for 25 minutes, until tender.
Add additional water as needed.  Watch closely so it doesn’t boil over.  Scrape off foam from top of water a few times during cooking.

In a separate pan, over medium heat, add the ghee or sunflower oil, add the mustard seeds, wait 2 minutes, add remaining spices, when mustard seeds pop, remove from heat.  Stir mixture into kitchari half way through cooking.
Ten minutes before kitchari is done add your vegetables, making sure there is enough water for them to cook.

Garnish with lime juice, cilantro and a sprinkle of coconut. Top with additional spices if you wish.
Spices and vegetables should be according to which doshas you are balancing and to taste.

Sit quietly, face east and enjoy!

Cooking Time:
45 minutes to one hour

To save on time, when the rice and dhal are cooking, chop your vegetables.

Featured Photo:
Inset Image Courtesy of The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont.