MUNG DAL KITCHARI (VATA REDUCING)
How to Make Mung Dal Kitchari (Vata Reducing)
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 60 MINUTES
SKILL LEVEL: EASY
INGREDIENTSSKILL LEVEL: EASY
PREPARATION OF THIS HEALTHY RECIPE
Optional: Add 1 tbsp jaggery (raw sugar).
1. Use split mung bean if possible.
2. Soak the mung beans for several hours before cooking and drain.
3. Bring the mung beans and 4 cups of water to a boil, scooping off any foam that forms on the top. Then, strain out the liquid, and add another 4c to the mung dal.
4. Meanwhile mash the ginger with a mortar and pestle, or slice thinly. Set the mustard seed aside. Mix the remaining spices together with 1 tsp water, making a paste.
5. Fry the mustard seeds in ghee until they begin to pop.
6. Add the spice paste, spreading it in the pan, and fry for thirty seconds.
7. Add the spices to mung bean. Take some of the broth and wash any remaining spices from the frying pan into the simmering mung bean.
8. After an hour, or when mung beans begin to soften add white basmati rice and another cup of water. If you are going to use brown rice, be sure to add an extra cup of water and cook for longer - until the rice is soft.
9. Cook until tender on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
How Does This Ayurvedic Recipe Improve Wellness?
CLINICAL AYURVEDIC REVIEW
Kitchari is Ayurveda's signature healing recipe and a perfect food.
A simple, dynamic and heart warming synergy of mung beans, basmati rice, and digestive spices, kitchari is great for times of healing and recovery. Or whenever you suffer from plain old digestive discomfort.
You could even feature kitchari as the centerpiece of a mono-diet, fast or kitchari cleanse
, as it is a simple food that supplements healing.
As with Chinese congees and Grandma's chicken soups, there are as many ways to make kitchari as there are reasons to consume it.
Typical modifications include vegetables such as carrots, greens, zucchini, or potatoes. Or add spices like cumin, cinnamon, or black pepper. Even toasted nuts or coconut can be healthy additions.
Technically, kitchari is any dish combining rice and legumes. However, most kitcharyies use mung beans
Together, rice and beans make Kitchari a complete protein. Kitchari is rich in fiber, which lowers cholesterol and bulks up stools for easier elimination and cleansing of the digestive tract.
And if most beans cause digestive difficulties you will love kitchari. Not only are they among the easiest to digest legumes, they won't promote gas and bloating. Just make sure you get the yellow split mung beans, not the green ones with the shell.
Mung beans are also a natural antacid and help to soothe fiery digestive conditions.
Our featured recipe is especially suited to Vata dosha, and is a great healing meal for a Vata imbalance!
Or check out this kitchari recipe, best suited for Pitta dosha
or this one designed for Kaphas
Don't know your dosha (body type)? Click here to find out
Kitchari Spices: Great Ayurvedic Remedies
As a staple in the Ayurvedic diet, spices are the difference between a tasty meal and a bland one. They are also the difference between enjoying a healthy digestion or suffering from a poor one.
For example, this Vata kitchari recipe features Asafoetida
, also called hing.
Hing is a sharp and heating spice that stimulates the tongue. And not only does it make food more interesting, it also has many health promoting qualities.
Hing assists digestion, soothes spasms, and prevents and expels gas.
Pungent spices stimulate increased blood flow to the intestines, which increases digestive enzyme secretions. These extra gastric juices are why a well-spiced dish digests better than a bland one.
Listen to Your Body
As much as spices stimulate (or irritate) your tongue, they also irritate the digestive tract. The tongue is a mirror to the digestive tract.
So reach for spices with enthusiasm, but don't overdo it. Too much spice is harsh and can leave a burning feeling in the intestines. Listen to your body and its reaction to what you eat. Those with ulcers or inflammation will not benefit from an ingredient with the spicy strength of hing
But if your digestion is sluggish, spices like hing could become your gut's best friend.
And be sure to check out more of our Vata recipes
Foods with a Similar Nature to Mung Dal Kitchari (Vata Reducing)
Mustard Seed has these Actions in Common
Detoxicant, Diuretic, Irritates-throat, Relieves-tension, Strengthens-resolve, Warms-abdomen, Warms-head, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue, Muscle-relaxant, Stimulates-energy, Vasodilator, Warms-chest, Burns-toxins, Clears-sinuses, Digestive, Flushes-sinuses, Nauseating, Stimulates-front-of-brain, Wakes-you-up, Warms-ears, Antiarthritic, Cardiac-stimulant
Allspice has these Actions in Common
Burns-toxins, Clears-sinuses, Irritates-throat, Stimulates-front-of-brain, Warms-head, Antiarthritic, Cardiac-stimulant, Detoxicant, Muscle-relaxant, Vasodilator, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Digestive, Stimulates-energy, Warms-chest, Anti-inflammatory
Turmeric has these Actions in Common
Induces-ovulation, Anthelminthic, Antispasmodic, Cholagogue, Emmenagogue, Vasodilator, Anti-inflammatory, Burns-toxins, Detoxicant, Flushes-sinuses, Warms-chest, Antiarthritic, Carminative, Digestive
Cloves has these Actions in Common
Antispasmodic, Carminative, Digestive, Warms-chest, Burns-toxins, Detoxicant, Vasodilator, Warms-ears, Anthelminthic, Cardiac-stimulant, Diaphoretic, Warms-abdomen, Warms-head
Daikon Radish has these Actions in Common
Diuretic, Warms-abdomen, Cardiac-stimulant, Diaphoretic, Flushes-sinuses, Warms-chest, Cholagogue, Digestive, Stimulates-energy, Warms-head, Anti-inflammatory, Clears-sinuses
Basil has these Actions in Common
Burns-toxins, Detoxicant, Diuretic, Warms-head, Anti-inflammatory, Cardiac-stimulant, Diaphoretic, Galactagogue, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Digestive, Warms-ears
Rosemary has these Actions in Common
Antispasmodic, Detoxicant, Emmenagogue, Vasodilator, Burns-toxins, Diaphoretic, Muscle-relaxant, Warms-chest, Anthelminthic, Cardiac-stimulant, Digestive, Stimulates-energy
Ginger (Fresh) has these Actions in Common
Antispasmodic, Carminative, Galactagogue, Anti-inflammatory, Burns-toxins, Detoxicant, Stimulates-energy, Antiarthritic, Cardiac-stimulant, Digestive, Vasodilator
Fenugreek has these Actions in Common
Burns-toxins, Detoxicant, Diuretic, Stimulates-energy, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue, Anti-inflammatory, Cholagogue, Digestive, Galactagogue
Turmeric Root (Fresh)
Turmeric Root (Fresh) has these Actions in Common
Flushes-sinuses, Anti-inflammatory, Carminative, Digestive, Induces-ovulation, Antiarthritic, Cholagogue, Emmenagogue, Anthelminthic, Burns-toxins, Detoxicant
Nigella (black cumin)
Nigella (black cumin) has these Actions in Common
Carminative, Digestive, Stimulates-energy, Antispasmodic, Detoxicant, Diuretic, Vasodilator, Burns-toxins, Diaphoretic, Galactagogue
Herb Supplements with a Similar Nature to Mung Dal Kitchari (Vata Reducing)
Holy Basil Leaf (Tulsi)
Holy Basil Leaf (Tulsi) has these Actions in Common
Clears-sinuses, Vasodilator, Detoxicant, Warms-chest, Diaphoretic, Warms-ears, Diuretic, Warms-head, Anti-inflammatory, Emmenagogue, Antispasmodic, Muscle-relaxant, Burns-toxins, Stimulates-energy, Cardiac-stimulant, Stimulates-front-of-brain
Deodar (Himalayan Cedar, Devadaru)
Deodar (Himalayan Cedar, Devadaru) has these Actions in Common
Diuretic, Muscle-relaxant, Anti-inflammatory, Stimulates-energy, Antiarthritic, Vasodilator, Antispasmodic, Warms-chest, Cardiac-stimulant, Warms-ears, Carminative, Warms-head, Digestive
Wild Ginger has these Actions in Common
Antispasmodic, Burns-toxins, Cardiac-stimulant, Emmenagogue, Carminative, Stimulates-energy, Detoxicant, Vasodilator, Diaphoretic, Warms-chest, Warms-ears, Digestive
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom Salt Bath has these Actions in Common
Diaphoretic, Flushes-sinuses, Muscle-relaxant, Relieves-tension, Antispasmodic, Vasodilator, Cardiac-stimulant, Warms-chest, Clears-sinuses, Warms-head, Detoxicant
Yogaraj Guggulu has these Actions in Common
Anti-inflammatory, Muscle-relaxant, Antiarthritic, Relieves-tension, Antispasmodic, Vasodilator, Burns-toxins, Cardiac-stimulant, Carminative, Detoxicant, Emmenagogue
Hot Shower has these Actions in Common
Diaphoretic, Flushes-sinuses, Muscle-relaxant, Relieves-tension, Vasodilator, Antispasmodic, Warms-chest, Cardiac-stimulant, Warms-head, Clears-sinuses
Hot Bath has these Actions in Common
Relieves-tension, Vasodilator, Antispasmodic, Warms-chest, Cardiac-stimulant, Warms-head, Clears-sinuses, Diaphoretic, Flushes-sinuses, Muscle-relaxant
Mugwort has these Actions in Common
Anti-inflammatory, Emmenagogue, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Detoxicant, Diaphoretic, Digestive, Anthelminthic, Diuretic
Pennyroyal has these Actions in Common
Emmenagogue, Antispasmodic, Muscle-relaxant, Cardiac-stimulant, Relieves-tension, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Digestive, Diuretic
Punarnava has these Actions in Common
Cardiac-stimulant, Cholagogue, Digestive, Diuretic, Nauseating, Stimulates-energy, Anti-inflammatory, Stimulates-front-of-brain, Antispasmodic, Vasodilator
Dong Quai has these Actions in Common
Digestive, Emmenagogue, Muscle-relaxant, Relieves-tension, Stimulates-energy, Anti-inflammatory, Vasodilator, Antispasmodic, Carminative
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About the Author
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics
His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel,
as well as public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem.
His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
Comments & Impressions of 'Mung Dal Kitchari (vata Reducing)'
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(4.69 out of 5 stars) 16 ratings, 3252 likesSign in to review this recipe
I have never tried Kitchari but always wanted to! I am mainly Vata so would I make this without the mung beans? Thanks! :)
- Terri Turner, Bossier , LA 08-05-12
There are many variations of kitchari. Your suggestions are good ones. Adding cooked garlic and onion can help sedate Vata.
Plantains could create a food combination for weak digestion. If your intent is to enjoy kitchari and you can digest it, plantains are an exciting variation. Otherwise, if you are using kitchari to cleanse, I would stick with the simpler version presented here. If you find you need some variety, try adding carrots, kale, or coconut flakes.
Mung beans are easier to digest than most other beans. Unless your digestion is very weak, most Vata types can handle split mung dal. The spices also help. Vata people should include the mung beans in this recipe.
Thank you everybody for your comments, questions, and suggestions.
If I don't digest dairy well, is coconut oil a useful substitute for ghee?
Love your recipe for kitchari, John. Freshly grated coconut or coconut milk made from freshly grated coconut would be a great addition to the recipe. I give it 5 stars!
Is there a slow cooker version? Can I just add everything to a slower cooker without frying the spices I find frying spices make them dark and unappetizing . Thanks for the recipie can't wait o try it.
- Christine - Yes, coconut oil is a good substitute for ghee.
- Amanda - The less ghee you use, the more Kapha friendly. Also, check out the Kapha kitchari recipe on the website.
- Bettina - You can pick your favorite spices - black cumin, fennel, mustard seed, etc.
- Peach - Yes, you can add everything to a slow cooker. If the spices turn dark you're frying them too long. Try frying them for ten seconds only.
- Bharavi - I offer some specific ideas for modifying the recipe above. Thanks for asking!
- Liz, - Yes, you can leave it out / modify the recipe.
Mung beans actually have *alot* of fiber - producing nice, satisfying lincoln log poops. Check it out!
Dear Jenn, Caraway and ajwain are different spices. I usually use the whole ajwain seed. Hing is also different from fennel. Hing is made from a resin and never appears in seed form. Thanks for asking! Warm Regards,
Can you please tell me if one would use brown basmati rice or white - does it make a difference? Also, when using as a cleansing, how much should you eat per day?
- Peggy Watson, Placentia, CA 02-28-13
Dear Helen, Make sure the dal is completely cooked before you add the rice. Otherwise the rice will soak up all the water and the dal will remain hard.
Dear Peggy, You can make kitchari with brown or white rice. You can eat until your stomach is satisfied.
An Ayurvedic practitioner told me that whole mung beans are better to be used in Kitchari because it is less constipating. I found various sources online that argue both. Which is your opinion?
- andrea nicole, Montebello, CA 03-23-13
The spices cooking in the ghee fills the house with the most tantalizing aroma. I can hardly wait the hour and half it takes to fully cook... but oh so worth it. Delicious!
I have done a 4 days kitchari cleanse and became so constipated that I couldn't go on longer with it. I drink plenty of filtered water. Any suggestions to avoid that situation? I really would love to do a longer cleanse. Or is this protocol not suitable for me? I am Pitta-Vata (almost even). Thanks for your feedback.
- Maryse, New castle, DE 08-22-13
Is Mung dal vata agrrevating. as it has red cross on V
- monty, Ajax, ON 12-02-13
Mung is the least aggravating of the dals to vata, especially when mixed with ghee or something similar. Thanks!
Thanks for verifying the cook dal first thing. I can't believe some of the recipes I've seen online for kitcheri--no wonder it has a reputation for causing constipation!
Yes Martine, if you want your kitchari to be more soupy, add more water.
I followed this recpe and soaked split mung beans with Brown Basmati rice; the only spice I did not have was ajwain. During cooking the food was very sticky to the pan and I had to add water numerous times. I was concerned that the brown rice would not cook thoroughly as the water was reduced. The flavor was very good but I experienced a lot of gas. I normally do not have gas from Kitchari. Kindly advise your thoughts. I am tridoshic.D Swann
- Deborah Swann, Trumbull, CT 01-17-18
Dear Deborah - Did you cook the mung beans on their own for a good while as the recipe instructs? They need much more cooking time than the rice.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 06-12-18
This is nasty. It's easy to make but tastes like crap. I don't consider myself a picky eater! I will pretty much eat everything! But I could not eat this. Did anyone else find the taste of this to be very unappealing? This is my first recipe of kitchari that I've experimented with. I had to order the ingredients for this recipe on amazon because I couldn't find them anywhere. I'll probably never use them again. Haha! Oh well. Anyway, hopefully I can find a recipe that i like for kitchari.
We have several other kitchari recipes on the site you might try if you did not like this one.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 09-04-18
Everyone has different tastebuds, but I find it to be delicious, and more importantly, makes my stomach feel so good. Ajwain was suggested as a spice that might be beneficial for my liver and kidneys, as well as help with indigestion and gas, and it happens to add a flavor that I love as well. Thanks so much for the recipe!I have made this recipe several times and always return to it.
Yum! I tried this recipe today and really enjoyed it. The kitchari came out nicely seasoned/spiced and the tiniest bit soupy, but without being too wet (which is how it should be, in my opinion). I also added some finely diced carrot and frozen peas, which blended in nicely. Overall, this is a satisfying and comforting dish that I would recommend to others.
I'm looking forward to trying this. As it is suggested for all three meals of the day, can I make it in advance or should it be cooked fresh each time? Also, my personal recipe book does not recommend Mung beans for me (vata with some health issues) but I see it us the easiest to digest.. So assume it will be fine for three days? Thank youKaren
- Karen, Telford 10-09-20
Hi Karen, ideally we would prepare our food fresh before each meal but this isn't always possible. A good rule of thumb is to prepare food no longer that 24hrs before you'll eat it.If you find the mung beans difficult to digest you can try lessening the amount and increasing the amount of basmati, which is easy on the digestive system. Let us know how you enjoy your kitchari!