Kitchari: the healing hodgepodge of rice and beans

Yvonne O'Halloran

Kitchari means mixture. It’s warm, comforting, simple and easy to digest.

A hodgepodge of rice, mung beans, and spices.  Though other legumes can be used. Purists say that, traditionally, the dish is made with yellow lentils or split peas.

In my dish, I like to use mung beans for their slightly sweet taste combined with a lingering sweet-pea hint.

And if looking for good protein, mung beans pack a punch at a hefty 14 grams per cooked cup. Paired with rice, kitchari is a perfect combination for vegans and vegetarians.

Yogis and anyone who follows the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, may have eaten kitchari as a way to cleanse the body and mind. Try it for a day, or a week.


Serves 2-4


+ 1 cup brown basmati rice, washed

+ 1 cup mung beans, rinsed

+ 1 large onion, peeled and chopped

+ Large chunk fresh ginger (50-70g, peeled, grated or chopped)

+ 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

+ 2tbsp coconut oil

+ 2tbsp mild curry

+ Sea salt and pepper to taste

+ Coriander to serve


  1. Place mung beans and rice in a pan with 31/2 cups of filtered water. Boil for 30-40 minutes, until cooked.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the coconut oil and add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes or so, until soft.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another five minutes. Do not burn the garlic as it will taste bitter.
  4. Add the curry powder and mix for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the cooked rice and mung beans to combine.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more hot water if needed.

Article written by Julia M. Thompson- United Kingdom

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