Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchari

Kitchari ( pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a staple of Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic medicine. It is considered a cleansing and detoxifying food. It’s traditionally prepared with yellow mung dal, basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee or oil and spices. 

According to Ayurveda, we are all composed of three doshas: vata (air and ether), pitta( fire and water) and kapha ( earth and water). Kitchari balances the three doshas.

It really is the perfect one-pot meal. It’s easy-to-digest and provides a complete protein ( the 10 essential amino acids our bodies cannot make and we must get from our food). 

To learn more about your dosha type, you can take a test at The Chopra Center 

To make the perfect kitchari consider the following guidelines published by Kripalu School of Ayurveda:

For Vata:

  • Use twice the amount of  oil.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper while cooking.
  • Add about ½ inch of chopped, fresh ginger to the oil when cooking the spices.
  • Use quinoa instead of rice to increase the protein content.
  • Use double the amount of rice.
  • Best veggies for a vata variation are carrots, zucchini, peas, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

For Pitta:

  • Use half the amount of mustard seeds and black pepper, or omit mustard seeds altogether.
  • Best veggies for a pitta variation are leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots.


  • Use leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots.
  • Add about ½ inch of chopped, fresh ginger to the oil when cooking the spices.

This is my favorite recipe for balancing vata-pitta during the winter time. I hope you enjoy it!

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchari
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  1. 1 cup yellow mung dal beans
  2. 1/2 cup basmati rice
  3. 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  6. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  7. 4-6 curry leaves (optional)
  8. 1 tsp ground cumin
  9. 1 tsp ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  11. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  13. 4 cups of seasonal vegetables: 2 cups of green veggies ( spinach, kale, celery) + 2 cups of orange veggies ( carrots, sweet potato, squash)
  14. 2 cloves
  15. 2 cardamon pods
  16. salt and pepper to taste
  17. Handful of fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. Soak the mung dal beans in water for 4-8 hours (this helps with digestion). Rinse and strain until the water runs clear, about five times.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large pot over medium to high heat.
  3. Add all the seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop.
  4. Add the grounded spices and a asafoetida.
  5. Stir in the mung dal and rice.
  6. Add 6 cups of water, cloves, cardamon pods and vegetables
  7. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  8. Cook at least for one hour, until the beans and rice are soft and the kitchari has a porridge-like consistency.
  9. Serve warm with fresh cilantro on top, if desired.
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