Simple Kitchari Recipe

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?” ”

Seneca the Younger


Last night, I was watching an interview with Tim Ferris on Marie TV and he shared this quote and explained how he (and several other successful people he knows) puts it into practice.

I’ve seen fear play out in my own life in disempowering ways: choosing jobs or career paths I’m not passionate about, staying in relationships (personal or professional) for longer than I know is healthy, or getting 60% immersed in a project instead of going all in.

Fear is most paralyzing when we don’t name the actual outcome that we fear. When we just say “I’m afraid” instead of actually walking through the worst case scenario and seeing what would happen.

With my growing collection of adaptogens, vitamins, powders, and supplements, I decided it was time to take a few days to go back to the roots of what Āyurveda is all about – simple, wholesome food and routines. I’m embarking on a day of eating kitchari (a simple meal of rice, mung beans, and spices) to remember that I can survive without ashwagandha, maca, and dark chocolate. Health can wear simple clothing, and contentment can too.

Why kitchari

One of my favorite principles of Ayurvedic cooking is to keep it simple. Look for simplicity in the ingredients, cooking method, spicing, AND in our ability to digest the food.
Instead of feeding your system foods that are harder to digest and require a lot of effort from the body to break down, we aim to have meals that require less work t9 digest. By making it easy for the digestive system to absorb and assimilate nutrients, we have more energy available to support all of our other body systems – from our immune system to our reproductive organs to our brains.
That’s why in Ayurveda, we typically recommend eating more cooked food – the stove does some of the digesting for you and make it so your own internal fire or agni can remain strong.
Kitchari is a simple meal of white basmati rice, split mung beans, spices, and oil. This meal has necessary nutrients so that you’re nourished, all while being incredibly easy on the body to digest. When we eat kitchari, we make it possible for our digestive system to have some rest, so we can rehabilitate the other organ systems.

What I love most about this kitchari recipe is that it has a balancing effect for all doshas and types of people. For those who need more grounding, it provides that stability and nourishment. For those that are feeling sluggish or clogged, it has a more cleansing effect. I do 1 day of kitchari each week (breakfast as rice only, lunch and dinner as kitchari) to support digestion, but even practicing this once per month can be beneficial.

Here’s the kitchari recipe I’m following today:

Not A Silver Bullet: Kitchari
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 portion
  • 1 tbsp ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil.
  • ½ tsp ginger, minced
  • ¼ tsp turmeric minced or powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin seed, lightly ground
  • ¼ tsp coriander seed, lightly ground
  • ¼ tsp fennel seed, lightly ground
  • ¼ tsp mustard seed
  • pinch asafoetedia (hing)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup white basmati rice
  • ⅛ cup split mung beans
  • 1.5-2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley, basil, or cilantro (for garnish)
  • 3-4 drops lime juice
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, warm the ghee.
  2. Add the spices, stirring.
  3. Let simmer for about 1 minute until the spices become fragrant.
  4. Add rice and mung beans, stirring. Saute for 1-2 minutes
  5. Add water.
  6. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until rice and beans have softened. If using a pressure cooker, set for 15 minutes and use natural pressure release.
  7. Stir in parsley, basil, or cilantro and let sit for 5 minutes off heat.
  8. Add lime juice and serve warm


This recipe is adapted from my teacher at Hale Pule.





What Do You think?

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! It looks delicious and so cleansing on Instagram – but would you please clarify which meal it’s supposed to be (lunch and/or dinner), given its size? Thank you! 🙂

  2. Sorry, I forgot to check off Notify me of follow up comments – please reply to this comment if possible. Sorry and thanks again!! 🙂

  3. Sorry, I forgot to check off Notify me of follow up comments – please reply to this comment if possible. Sorry and thanks again!! 🙂 😀

    1. Hi Blue, great question! You can eat this for lunch or dinner! I do either 😀 I’ll do a slightly larger portion for lunch, but in general one big bowl’s worth is a good serving size. Enjoy!

  4. I wanted to look up your kitchari recipe because your photos have been so stunning! And thrilled to see your Seneca quote here – I’ve been reading the Tao of Seneca every morning the past month or so (: Keep it up, Sam!