Kitchari (sometimes spelled Kitcheree) is an Indian dish traditionally made of yellow mung dal and basmati rice, along with digestive spices and ghee. It is used as a cleansing and detoxifying food in Ayurveda. Kitchari is very easy to digest, nourishes all the tissues of the body, and assists in the detoxification and cleansing process.

I have been making kitchari for many years and my favorite time to eat it is for breakfast, right after it is cooked. For many years when I was healing my digestive tract I was unable to eat beans. However, the split and hulled mung beans were the exception to that, due to their ability to digest easily. Soaking them in kombu as I do (see below), helps as well 🙂

I personally make kitchari very simply. However, if you chose to, you can add diced vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, squash, spinach, etc.) to the pot when you set it to cook.

by Debbie Steinbock

The night before:
Soak ½ cup of split hulled mung beans (these are yellow, not green and can be purchased at an Indian Market) with 1 cup white basmati rice in a large pot with enough filtered water to cover it. Although not necessarily “traditional”, I add a piece of kombu (seaweed) to the water for added minerals.

In the morning, transfer the rice and mung beans to a strainer and rinse thoroughly, discarding the soak water (you can keep the kombu if you’d like).

In a large pot, add:
1 large Tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
soaked rice and mung beans (and kombu, if using)
6 cups filtered water

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes, until everything is very soft. Add some chopped cilantro (if desired) before serving.

About Debbie Steinbock, HHC

After years of being told that she had an "incurable" chronic health condition, Debbie turned to her diet to help her understand her disease, restore her body, and regain control of her health. Her personal journey has given her the knowledge and compassion necessary to help her clients take an active role in their own healing. Since starting her practice in 2000, Debbie has successfully helped hundreds of people across the country to improve their diet, enhance their current state of health, and eliminate a variety of health conditions.

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