Kitchari for One, Barbara Sinclair Holistic Health and healing

Kitchari for One

Kitchari is Ayurveda’s ultimate version of a vegetarian chicken soup. Kitchari for One is my recipe for those of us who don’t need a whole big pot.

This easy recipe is great during periods of cleansing, illness, or whenever your digestion needs a break.

It’s a perfect meal during Kapha Season as it gently helps detoxify our body from the toxins that tend to build up during the winter months. The ability to eat this yummy meal during a cleanse helps keep the transition gentle. A small amount of ghee goes a long way and is oh so flavorful.

That being said, I eat kitchari all year round!

There are hundreds of different versions available for how to make kitchari. Many of them use a ratio of more rice than dal. I like to use 50/50, but feel free to use more rice. Experiment away!

This may look complex, but once you get the hang of it, from start to finish, it can be prepared in 30 minutes. If I can do it, so can you! I am not a great cook but I have finally mastered the art of making kitchari. 🙂

Leftovers are an unfortunate no-no, according to Ayurveda, so here’s a simple recipe for a single serving

  • 1/4 cup yellow mung dal
  • 1/4 cup organic Basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch of coriander powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric root powder
  • 1 tsp ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1-2 cups diced vegetable(s) of choice (carrots, zucchini, broccoli, peas, greens, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley
  • A handful of greens – spinach, kale, collard or mustard greens are all good choices
  • onion and/or garlic (optional)
  • whole tomato or 1/3 cup pureed tomato (optional)
  • Coconut milk (optional)
  • Coconut flakes (optional)
  • sea salt & pepper

Bring a kettle of water to boil and set aside.

Rinse rice and mung dal thoroughly in a colander and drain. You can soak for a few hours, but to be honest, I rarely do this.

Kitchari is traditionally bland for optimal digestibility and when eating during a cleanse, but, for a regular meal, I often like to change it up and so I included some optional ingredients. Be creative!

Melt ghee in stainless steel or ceramic pot.

Add ginger and saute briefly. If using onion and garlic, saute them first and then add ginger.

Saute cumin, mustard, and fennel seeds until mustard seeds just start to pop.

Add turmeric and stir. It will burn quickly, so immediately add drained rice/dal and stir.

Add enough boiling water to cover about 2-3″ above mixture. Kitchari can be soupy or more solid, depending on your preference.

Add salt and pepper.

Lately, I’ve been adding coconut milk and/or some coconut flakes and love the flavor this imparts.

Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, with the lid slightly cracked open for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot and add water if necessary. The final result should be somewhat soupy.

Add chopped vegetables and cover for another 5-10 minutes, until tender.

Stir in cilantro (or parsley) and any greens you’re using.

If desired, stir in a chopped (or pureed) tomato.

Voila! Feel free to mix up the spices, eliminating any you’re not fond of.


Much love,


Easy-to-use kitchari ingredients


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