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Winter Kitchari

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Kitchari can be a sharp learning curve.

Not in terms of multi tasking or steps-- everything stays well contained in one dish. But unless you are used to Indian spices, it's hard to know how much is just enough, what order to sautee, and how to avoid burning. There's lots of options for pre-packaged servings (a nice starter on your kitchari journey and the only one I really like is from Divya's Kitchen), but once you get the hang of making it yourself and invest in the first round of spices, this is such a simple go-to. This recipe came from me simplifying the many different approaches I tried (and burned).

Kitchari is often associated with cleanses, but I turn to it more frequently-- whenever my body feels a little "off" or I need the equivalent of a culinary warm hug. Especially in winter, this is on my table often, and it is a perfectly balanced lunch to go if you have a thermos. And BONUS! whatever is left over from lunch, I'll just add broth or water to and make into a light dinner soup to be had the same day, maybe throwing in some more vegetables at the end...

serves 2


  • 1/3 C yellow split mung beans

  • 1/3 C basmati rice

  • around 24 oz water (you can adjust depending on how soupy you want it)

  • 1/2 TB sesame oil or avocado

  • 1/8 tsp turmeric

  • 1 inch ginger grated

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • salt to taste

  • ground of black pepper

  • 1 cup diced hard vegetables (sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini are all options)


  • a few handfuls of leafy greens

  • coriander leaves and/or toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

  • wedge of lime


  • soak rice and mung beans for 30 minutes or longer. While not 100 % necessary, it does help the cooking process. when ready to use, agitate the water to release any debris and strain. Run it under water in the strainer

  • Heat up oil in sauce pan

  • add turmeric, wait for the smell, around 20 seconds

  • add ginger and cumin seeds, again waiting for the smell, no more than 30 seconds

  • add beans and rice and give a quick toasting to coat everything.

  • add the water, preferably room temperature or warmer to prevent "shocking" the mixture

  • bring to boil

  • add coriander, pepper, salt and cut vegetables

  • reduce to simmer, about 30 minutes, stirring and adding more water if the bottom is sticking

  • in last 5 minutes of cooking, throw in fresh greens, so they wilt but retain their brightness

  • garnish and serve with a wedge of lime, coriander leaves, pumpkin seeds.

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