Cleansing with butter and carbs might sound like a deliciously misguided tip, but that’s the beauty of kitchari. Traditionally made from split mung beans, basmati rice, ghee and tons of healing spices, this supremely cozy one-pot meal is easy to digest. That means our bodies have more energy to do what they do best — detox and heal from within.

Digestive health is a core concern in ayurveda, the ancient wellness philosophy from which kitchari comes. According to the pros, going on a full kitchari cleanse or simply replacing a few meals throughout the week with a bowl of kitchari — while also drinking tons of water and getting lots of rest —  encourages gentle healing, jumpstarts our metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps us slow down in the best way. Together, the mung beans and rice actually form a complete protein.

We recently learned how to make the most delicious version of the stuff during our Instagram Live with Ayurvedic foodies, Jamie Kantrowitz and Nicole Rice. Their recommendation to add turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and black pepper to infuse in our ghee takes traditional kitchari to a whole new level. Here’s their recipe…

Mung Bean Kitchari with Ghee


for the kitchari:

3 Tbsp ghee
1/4 cup Basmati rice
1/4 cup split mung beans (or any lentil)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
small knob ginger, peeled and freshly grated
3 cups water, stock or bone broth
2 cups of your favorite seasonal vegetables
A pinch each: turmeric, cumin, cardamom, black pepper (optional for the ghee)

optional toppings:

spinach or chard (no kale!)
sliced avocado
chopped herbs
fresh lemon
greek yogurt


Thoroughly wash rice and split mung beans* or other lentil substitute. In a heavy based pot or deep sauce pan, melt the spiced butter* over medium heat

Add carrots, celery, cilantro and ginger. Stir to coat all ingredients in ghee. Sauté veggie mixture for 2 minutes.

Add washed rice and mung beans, stirring until all ingredients are coated in ghee. Sauté for another 2 – 3 minutes, then add water or stock. Add 2 cups of your favorite seasonal vegetables.

Let ingredients get to soft simmer, then turn down the heat and cook on low for 30 – 40 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat, then stir in another tablespoon of ghee and a handful of greens (not kale, but a soft green like spinach or chard). Cover with lid and let sit for 20 – 30 minutes longer.

Serve your kitcheri bowl with fresh herbs (cilantro is great), avocado, a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of yogurt.

*for the spiced ghee: 
To spice the ghee, first melt in sauce pot over low to medium heat. Add spices, stir throroughly and simmer on low (the ghee should not bubble) for 20 minutes. Cool the ghee for 30 minutes.

*Please Note: mung beans need to be split. If you only have whole mung beans, soak for 24-48 hours in cold water before starting this recipe.

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