Beyond Kitchari

Having been an avid promoter and lover of Ayurveda since 1999, there have been times when Kitchari (the traditional and easy to digest meal given to those who are cleansing), became synonymous with ‘bland & boring’ – never the first choice, always the sensible choice.

Fast forward to 2015 when a gamut of organic and delicious fermented foods, fresh local produce and exciting preparations grace the aisles of our local health food markets, and Voila! – let the Kitchari renaissance begin.

The key to mouth-savoring kitchari is pulling off a simple base recipe combined with varied raw, fermented and cooked toppings that represent the 6 Ayurvedic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent. The following recipe is pictured in the photo, and to date, the most satisfying and sensational kitchari I have ever tasted. Happy Cooking!


Serves 3-4
Use all organic ingredients:

  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • ½ cup whole green mung beans
  • 2 medium carrots (entwined in loving embrace whenever possible)
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fresh peeled & grated ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tsp dry wakame seaweed
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 5 cups water
  • Ginger and turmeric marinated in meyer lemon juice
  • Korean style kimchi
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1T Beet ganoush
  • 2T coconut milk
  • Pink salt & pepper to taste
  • Wash green mung beans and soak overnight
  • Drain soak water and rinse mung beans before cooking
  • Wash carrots, and cut in your favorite way
  • Wash & cut zucchini into 1-inch pieces.
Easy pressure cooker method:
  • In the pressure cooker (before closing), warm the coconut oil over medium heat
  • Add the fennel, cumin, ginger, coriander, garlic and turmeric and sauté for one to two minutes, just until very fragrant, stirring the whole time
  • Add rice and mung beans and sauté for another minute or two
  • Add the carrots, zucchini or other vegetables. Stir for a minute.
  • Then add the 5 cups of water, salt, seaweed and bay leaf
  • Close the pot and pressure cook 45 minutes (the beans should be completely soft and formless)
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings – representing all of the 6 Ayurvedic tastes
    • Sweet: coconut milk & avocado
    • Sour: lemon marinade, kimchi
    • Salty: pink salt, kimchi
    • Pungent: marinated ginger, kimchi
    • Bitter: marinated turmeric, kimchi, beet ganoush
    • Astringent: kimchi
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