At the foundation of any healing tradition is food. And for many, the “go to” recipe is Kitchari, the grandma’s chicken soup of East Asian healing practices. At the core of this recipe is Moong daal and basmati rice. In the tradition of Ayurveda, it is an easy, cleansing, one-pot meal, full of nourishment. While there are many many variations on the theme, the recipe included here is the fundamental starting point of Kitchari, which can then get more and more complicated as your palate dictates.


1/2 cup basmati rice

1 cup yellow moong daal (split yellow daal)

6 cups water (~add as needed)

1 inch ginger root (chopped)

½ tablespoon salt

2 tsp. ghee

1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

3/4 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. turmeric powder

Fresh cilantro leaves - chopped

(*add spices and vegetables as desired)

  1. Rinse the lentils and the rice until water runs clear.

  2. In a large pan (one that will fit the entire dish), put ghee/coconut oil/vegetable oil on medium low heat. Cook grated ginger, stirring for 30 seconds.

  3. Add the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, stir for another 30 seconds. Cook until seeds become browned, and fragrant.

  4. Add the lentils and rice mixture and stir to coat with all spices/oil. Add the turmeric, and salt. Stir to mix evenly.

  5. Add the water. Bring to a boil and then cover. Put heat on low, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. (Add more water if it’s sticking to the bottom of the pan, and if mixture is becoming dry.)

  6. Cook uncovered for 15-20 more minutes. Lentils should be tender, and easily mush together - similar to porridge consistency.

  7. If you choose to add greens - ie: broccoli, zucchini etc - stir them in now and let cook for 5 minutes.

  8. Serve with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon!