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Make Your Own Healing Ayurvedic Kitchari at Home

March 8, 2022

Mount Madonna Kitchari

If you’ve had breakfast at Mount Madonna Center you probably remember serving yourself a warm bowl of kitchari. Kitchari is especially popular now during winter and spring because of its dosha-balancing properties and its cleansing effect. In addition to its health benefits, kitchari is extremely easy to digest and simple to make!


Kitchari is a mixture of white rice, mung dal and spices. Depending on who makes it, the spice mix may vary, but it will usually include: cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric and fresh ginger. It can include mustard seeds, usually black. Turmeric is key because of its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which help to boost immunity. It also gives the dish a beautiful yellow color. Coriander, cumin and fennel are the basic herbs for balancing the digestive system. Often an Ayurvedic practitioner will recommend sipping hot “CCF” tea as an aid to digestion. The fresh ginger is warming during the cold spells of winter and spring and can help activate the digestive fire. While one can use any type of mung dal (and there are many!) the most soothing to the system is split, peeled mung. Basmati rice is key. It provides a wonderful, nutty flavor and more texture than regular rice. You can find both in an Indian market (or even online!).

Try it for yourself! Below is one of our favorite kitchari recipes. It should only take about 50 minutes and will provide 6-8 servings.


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup mung dal
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • sea salt to taste


  • Add the rice and dal to a colander and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Put the rice and dal on the stove and bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer.
  • Using a mortar and pestle (or an electric spice grinder), grind the spices into a powder. If you are adding mustard seeds, they can be left whole.
  • Heat the ghee in a pot over medium heat and add spices. Toast for 30 seconds or until they begin to release a lovely aroma.
  • Add the turmeric last.
  • Once your rice and dal are done (approximately 40 minutes), add the spice mixture and salt.
  • Stir well.
  • If you would like to include some vegetables, steamed zucchini, carrots or sweet potatoes are a good addition.
  • Top with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of ghee.

Another option is to put it all in an Instapot (having toasted the herbs in ghee), put it on the Porridge setting and cook for 30 minutes.

The Author

  • Mount Madonna Community Member

    Our community writers are accomplished authors who share their passion for yoga, mindfulness, and wellness through insightful articles on our website. Their writing offers actionable insights and personal stories of transformation, all written with clarity, compassion, and a deep commitment to helping others thrive. Whether teaching yoga or volunteering in the community, our writers embody warmth, wisdom, and a dedication to service that inspires us all.

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