My Favorite Kitchari Recipe

Sep 19, 2022

Kitchari is a warm, easy-to-digest Ayurvedic staple food made with rice and lentils. It's the perfect food to eat when the weather starts to get cold and you want something comforting but not too heavy.

You could think of kitchari like the Indian equivalent of rice and beans, but made with spices like cumin and ginger instead of garlic, onions or tomatoes.

The number of different ways to make kitchari are endless!

You can add whatever spices YOU like to kitchari. You can add whatever kind of rice YOU like. You can add whatever kinds of vegetables you like, or add no vegetables at all. You can top it with cilantro or coconut, a squeeze of lime or lemon, or just make it super simple with olive oil and salt. 

Many people first try kitchari when they are doing a cleanse - either at home using Dr. John Douillard's amazing Colorado Cleanse or at a pancha karma center like at The Ayurvedic Institute.

When cleansing, the kitchari should be very very simple. And this, sadly, means the kitchari will also be pretty bland and boring.

But at home, as a regular meal, when you're not cleansing, you can make a DELICIOUS, flavorful kitchari that will blow your mind.

Here's a kitchari recipe that I created after years of experimentation in the kitchen.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Yours in good health,


serves 4



1 sweet potato

1/2 bunch of kale or other dark leafy green

1/2 of a large onion

1/2 cup basmati rice

1/4 cup red lentils

1 TBSP + 1 TSP sunflower oil or ghee

1/2 cup dried coconut flakes

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or whole peppercorns if you prefer)

1 tsp turmeric powder

approximately 4 cups of water

salt to taste

fresh lemon juice to taste (about 1 whole lemon for the whole pot, or can just serve slices of lemon on the table for everyone’s own delight)

Cilantro to garnish



  1. Peel and cut 1 sweet potato into small 1 inch cubes. Set aside
  2. De-stem and break 1/2 bunch of kale or other dark leafy greens into small bit sized pieces or long strips. Set aside
  3. Dice 1/2 of a large onion into small pieces. Set aside.
  4. Dry roast (no oil in the pan) the coconut flakes by adding to a small cast iron skillet over medium heat and roasting until they have turned slightly brown. Be careful not to burn.



  1. Pour 1/2 cup dry basmati rice and 1/4 cup dry red lentils into a colander and rinse
  2. In a 4 quart saucepan, add 1 TBSP sunflower oil or ghee, and warm the oil over medium heat
  3. Add 1/2 tsp of whole cumin seeds and 1 pinch of hing. Stir and let the seeds sizzle for 1 minute or until fragrant and slightly brown
  4. Add the rinsed rice and lentils and about 2 cups of water. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  5. In a small cast iron skillet, saute the onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and black pepper in 1 TSP sunflower oil or ghee, until the onion turns translucent.  Set this spice mixture aside
  6. After 15 minutes of timer passes, add the chopped sweet potato into the rice and dal mixture, and 1 or 2 more cups of water, and  cover with a lid.  Continue simmering over medium low heat.  Be careful not to burn.
  7. When there is 3 minutes left on the timer (or when the sweet potatoes and rice and dal are 99% finished cooking), add the kale or dark leafy greens into the pot.  Stir the greens into the kitchari until they are wilted and then turn off the heat to the burner.
  8. Add the spices from the cast iron skillet and the turmeric. Stir well
  9. Add salt and lemon juice to taste.
  10. Garnish with toasted coconut and cilantro.

If you're looking for some instruction about how to relax your tongue during meditation, check out my free guided meditations! There's a 10-minute "Relax the Tongue" practice in there that I think you'll love. 

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