How to Make Kitchari for Cleansing & Detox (basic kitchari recipe)

Kitchary for cleansing and detox | Photo by Katrin Gilger

Ayurvedic kitchari is cleansing, nourishing, a perfect protein, and delicious! Add plenty of veggies and more or less water to adjust consistency. | Photo by Katrin Gilger

Kitchari is a wonderful winter dish and is super nutritious and perfect for balanced cleansing and detoxification. It is one way kitchari has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years.

In the Total Life Cleanse 28-day cleanse and detoxification program, kitchari is one of the foods we learn to prepare and eat as part of our Total Life Cleanse diet.


Basic Kitchari Recipe

The traditional Ayurvedic kitchari dish is cleansing, nourishing, a perfect protein, and delicious. You can use more or less water than what is called for to adjust its consistency. Try the recipe below and feel free to add an abundance of veggies as well.


2 cups white basmati rice

1 cup split yellow mung dal

8 cups water

2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated

1 pinch hing (asafetida)

┬╝ teaspoon Celtic sea salt

1 small handful cilantro leaves


Rinse the rice and mung dal together until the water runs clear. Put the rice and mung dal in a pot, and add the water. Simmer, covered, until the rice and mung dal are tender. (If you want to add vegetables, do so when the rice and mung dal are about two-thirds done cooking.) Heat the ghee in a separate saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, and lightly toast until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, grated ginger, and hing, and briefly stir. Stir the spice mixture into the rice and mung dal, along with the salt. Add the cilantro leaves before serving.


Jonathan Glass, M.Ac. Ayurvedic Practitioner

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