Ayurveda Basic Recipe : Kicharee


This is my go-to dish for detoxing, healing, improving digestion and calming the mind.

I try to have it two or three times a week, when the body needs a rest, such as after periods of overindulgence, travel or high stress. Kicharee is inexpensive, simple to prepare, and cooks in one pot.

The purity, nutrition and healing properties of mung beans have been recognized through the ages by yogis, sages and those interested in detoxing the body without losing strength. In ayurveda, it is said that a 10-day fast on this dish will heal any disease; the healing benefits of this dish should not be underestimated.

This simple recipe is balancing for all doshas. Serve with steamed greens, baked sweet potatoes, a green salad, avocado… Your choice.

You can also substitute rice for quinoa.


1/2 cup split mung beans (soaked for about 2 hours)
1/4 cup basmati rice
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 Tbsp fresh leek, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp hing (asafoetida), if none, use ½ tsp cumin, fennel or 1” piece of fresh ginger
1 stick kombu (dried seaweed — optional)
4 cups water
2 tbs ghee, or olive oil
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
3 cups of diced fresh vegetables (carrots, squash, kale)

1- Wash beans and rice very well. Soak beans in 4 c. water for 2 hours and drain. Bring 3 cups water to boil and add rice, beans, kombu and hing, Cook until tender. Add a pinch of salt. You may add any vegetables about half way through cooking, adding extra water if required. A dried shitake mushroom can be added to boost the immune system.

2- Heat ghee or oil in heavy skillet and add fresh ginger and leek. Then add mustard seeds. When they pop, add the other spices. Transfer a spoonful of soup to the spice mix and blend the two well. Incorporate the spices into the beans and cook for 2 minutes.

Options for garnish: fresh coriander, grated coconut, avocado, hemp seeds, freshly grated ginger, coconut milk, a squeeze of lemon/lime, nori strips, etc. If you know ayurveda, you can choose the garnishes that best suit your dosha.


Source: The Book of Taste : On Purification

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