Why You Should Make Kitchari Now

kitchari in a dark colored bowl with a lemon wedge on the side

When spring hits, many of us itch for a reset—whether that means decluttering our homes, eating healthier or revamping our self-care routine. Well think of kitchari as your spring reset for your gut. Meaning “mixture”, kitchari is a classic Ayurvedic dish that has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to improve gut health. Some people even partake in a kitchari cleanse, where they eat this comforting stew full of warm spices for up to a week to improve their digestion. Consider this the recipe for your spring reset.


¼ cup yellow mung dal, rinsed well

½ cup white basmati rice, rinsed well

5 cups water

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of asafoetida

1 tablespoon ghee, or other oil

1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Squeeze of lemon

Spiced crispy rice



Place the mung dal and rice in a medium saucepan with the water and bring to boil. Add salt and cover. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer while you prepare the spices. 

Combine the cumin, turmeric, black pepper and asafoetida in a small bowl. 

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high and add the ghee, allowing it to melt. Add the mustard seeds and stir until they start to sizzle and pop, about 10 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add the spice mixture. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly so as not to burn the spices. Transfer the hot cooked spice mixture to the cooking rice and dal and mix well. 

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until a porridge consistency is achieved, about 40 minutes or more. Serve garnished with lemon wedges, crispy rice and microgreens. 

Serves 3–4

This story originally appeared in the Spring ’22 issue of Edible Manhattan.

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