Kitchari - Ayurvedic Moong Dal Recipe - Elavegan (2024)

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5 from 8 votes

How to make kitchari, an Ayurvedic cleansing meal made with spiced moong dal, rice, and veggies. This kitchari recipe uses just one pot, is ready in under an hour, and is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and vegan! Best of all, it’s packed with healing spices and gut-friendly ingredients for a wholesome meal year-round!

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Cleansing, Anti-Inflammatory, Gut-Healing Kitchari!

If you’re looking for a meal that is comforting, cozy, flavorful, and packed with protein, fiber, and a whole long list of health benefits- you’ve found it in this kitchari recipe. With a combination of rice, split mung beans, and lots of flavorful spices, this kitchari recipe (also called khichdi) is healthy, hearty, and wholesome. It’s the perfect way to nourish your body for any meal, especially if you suffer from digestive issues!

However, it’s also very simple to prepare and a great way to use up the leftover veggies in the back of your fridge (or freezer) – like these summer rice paper rolls, this vegan omelette, or vegetable lo mein!

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What is Kitchari / Khichdi?

Kitchari (pronounced in one of two ways; ‘kitch-uh-ree’ or ‘kit-char-ee’ and meaning ‘mixture’) is an ancient food combining rice and legumes that originate in Ayurvedic practice. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to medicine that originated in India and is also the birthplace of modern-day yoga. The main aim is to nourish your mind, body, and spirit – to keep it in good health.

The kitchari cleanse dish combines simple, cleansing, detoxing, gut-healthy ingredients. This makes it perfect for enjoying with several types of gut-related health issues. These include IBS, candida, SIBO, leaky gut, and acid reflux, etc. Even better, the simple combination of rice and legumes are very budget-friendly yet packed with protein, fiber, and the 10 essential amino acids our bodies require through diet.

If you follow Ayurvedic recipes, this dish also has balancing properties for all three doshas (vata, kapha, and pitta). Want to learn more? Feel free to take this dosha quiz. That way, you can cater Ayurvedic recipes to you!

However, the best thing about this recipe is that anyone can enjoy it as a delicious side or main! In fact, this savory porridge can even be enjoyed for breakfast! For more ways to enjoy lentils, you might enjoy these recipes for red lentil patties, lentil bolognese, red lentil dahl, lentil soup, and lentil stuffed eggplant!

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The Ayurvedic Kitchari Ingredients

  • Rice: I recommend jasmine rice or basmati rice. Brown rice is not recommended in Ayurvedic recipes, as the husk can cause gut irritation/gas.
  • Moong Dal: You can use either yellow split mung beans (mung dal/moong dal) which is the best option, though red lentils would work in a pinch) or dried yellow split peas.
  • Vegetables: You’ll need four cups of chopped vegetables; zucchini, carrot, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, spinach, etc.
  • Coconut milk: Use canned coconut milk- full fat or light would work.
  • Vegetable broth: You can use reduced-sodium or regular broth and adjust the salt accordingly.
  • Coconut oil: Ayurveda uses ghee, butter, and coconut oil for cooking. Since this is a vegan recipe, I’ve used coconut oil.
  • Spices: This kitchari recipe uses a combination of spices, including cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds (or ground coriander), mustard seeds, ground turmeric, fresh ginger (or powdered), and salt and pepper.
  • Herbs: I recommend cilantro or parsley to garnish.

Read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.

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Optional add-ins and variations:

  • Rice-free: There are several options to choose from, though they won’t be the traditional Ayurvedic version. Tapioca pearls, millet, and quinoa would all work. However, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Cinnamon: You can add one cinnamon stick (or use 2 tsp powdered cinnamon). Remove before eating the dish.
  • Cardamom pods: 3-4 whole cardamom pods could be added with the spices.
  • Bay leaves: 2-3 bay leaves can be added at the beginning; remove before eating.
  • Yogurt: You can optionally serve the kitchari cleanse bowl with a dollop of plain, dairy-free yogurt.
  • Protein: While these options aren’t gut-friendly for all, you can optionally add some firm tofu, seitan, or tempeh to the dish for more flavor.

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How to Make Kitchari?

  • First, clean and chop the vegetables of your choice.
  • Then, heat the coconut oil in a large pan (or pot) over medium heat. Once hot, add the whole seeds and fry for 30 seconds (or until fragrant and beginning to pop). Then mix in the fresh ginger, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
  • Next, add the chopped veggies to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Also, add the rice, yellow split beans (or lentils), and vegetable broth. Stir to combine and then bring to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer over low heat for between 20-25 minutes.

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  • Then cover the pan with a lid and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the coconut milk and spinach, stir, and allow it to simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

If you prefer a ‘soupier’ dish, add a little more veggie broth or coconut milk.

  • Finally, taste the kitchari and adjust any of the seasonings/spices. Then serve and enjoy!

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How to Store

Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Freeze: Kitchari freezes very well. Allow it to cool and then store in freezer-safe containers/bags (portioned) for up to 4 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight (or at room temperature for 3-4 hours) before reheating.

Reheating: The best way to reheat the dish is on the stovetop- adding a splash of extra water/broth if needed. However, you could also use a microwave for 2-3 minutes.

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Recipe Notes and FAQs

  • Choosing the legume/bean: I’ve provided three options to choose from, so feel free to simply use whatever is available to you. However, if you’re following an Ayurvedic cleanse, split mung beans (moong dal) are considered Ayurveda’s ultimate ‘cleansing bean’ and the only bean not to cause gas. They are also packed with several health benefits, including flavonoids.
  • Instant Pot version: First, add the oil and spices to the instant pot and sauté, constantly stirring, until fragrant and beginning to pop. Then add the veggies, dry rice, and beans, stir, add the stock, and cancel the sauté button. Cover with the lid and cook on high pressure for 7-8 minutes (8 will be a porridge-like tender consistency). Then, either allow the pressure to naturally release (for more tender kitchari) or manually release the valve (for slightly firmer results).
  • Adjust the cooking time to the legume: Depending on whether you choose lentils, split peas, or moong dal, the cooking time may vary somewhat.
  • Sort the lentils/legume: It’s a good idea to sift through the mung dal/lentils to ensure no impurities, stones, etc., in the mixture.
  • Wash the rice/Legumes: While technically optional, you can remove excess starch from the ingredients by rinsing the two ingredients (separately) until the water runs almost clear.
  • Using garlic and onion: While a classic inclusion to many dal recipes, I’ve avoided them here as they aren’t recommended in Ayurvedic recipes.

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More Easy Indian Recipes

I love to prepare Indian food, and therefore I would like to share some other delicious Indian recipes with you:

  • One-pot Lentil Dal
  • Gluten-Free Naan Bread
  • Eggplant Chickpea Curry
  • Easy Potato Curry (Aloo Curry)
  • Vegan Butter Chicken (Instant Pot Tikka Masala)
  • Sweet Potato Spinach Curry
  • Turmeric Coconut Rice
  • Vegetable Pineapple Coconut Milk Curry

If you try this easy kitchari recipe, I’d love a comment and★★★★★recipe ratingbelow. Also, please don’t forget totag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebookwith@elavegan #elavegan – I love seeing them.

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Kitchari Recipe

How to make kitchari, an Ayurvedic cleansing meal made with spiced moong dal, rice, and veggies. This kitchari recipe uses just one pot, is ready in under an hour, and is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and vegan! Best of all, it's packed with healing spices and gut-friendly ingredients for a wholesome meal year-round!

5 from 8 votes

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Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 35 minutes mins

Total Time 50 minutes mins

Course Dinner, lunch

Cuisine Indian

Servings 4

Calories 379 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds or 1/2-1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chopped vegetables of choice (e.h. zucchini, carrot, broccoli, spinach, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dried jasmine rice or basmati rice
  • 1 cup (215 g) moong dal (yellow split mung beans) rinsed, or use lentils
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) canned coconut milk
  • Fresh herbs like cilantro leaves or parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  • You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.

    Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or pot and once hot, add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds. Fry for about 30 seconds, then stir in fresh ginger, ground turmeric, salt, and black pepper.

  • Add the vegetables of choice (I added carrot, zucchini, broccoli) and stir to combine.

  • Also, add rice, moong dal, and the vegetable broth. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Let simmer over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, then cover the pan and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.

  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine. I also added spinach and let the mixture simmer for a further 5 minutes until the desired consistency was reached.

  • Add more veggie broth or coconut milk for a soupier dish. Taste it and season with additional salt, pepper, and spices, if needed. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Veggies: I used 1 cup chopped carrot (120 grams), 1 cup chopped zucchini (180 grams), 1 heaped cup broccoli (100 g), 1 heaping cup of spinach (40 grams), but you can use any veggies of choice.
  • Instant Pot version: First, add the oil and spices to the instant pot and sauté, constantly stirring, until fragrant and beginning to pop. Then add the veggies, dry rice, and beans, stir, add the stock, and cancel the sauté button. Cover with the lid and cook on high pressure for 7-8 minutes (8 will be a porridge-like tender consistency). Then, either allow the pressure to naturally release (for more tender kitchari) or manually release the valve (for slightly firmer results).

Nutrition Facts

Kitchari Recipe

Amount per Serving

Calories

379

% Daily Value*

Fat

12

g

18

%

Saturated Fat

10

g

50

%

Carbohydrates

55

g

18

%

Fiber

14

g

56

%

Sugar

7

g

8

%

Protein

15

g

30

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically

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Kitchari - Ayurvedic Moong Dal Recipe - Elavegan (2024)

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