What is Kitchari?
Kitchari, a one-pot meal from the Ayurvedic tradition, is considered very healing and nourishing (or sattvic), and is typically made with split mung beans (moong dal), basmati rice, digestive spices, ghee or oil, and non-starchy vegetables.
In this Quinoa Kitchari recipe I use quinoa, moong dal, and coconut oil, but you may experiment with different grains and beans for variety. For instance, if you can’t find moong dal, try red lentils or use soaked whole mung beans.
What are the Healing Properties of Kitchari?
Kitchari is soothing to the digestion, as it contains turmeric and ginger, it is cooked until soft in texture, and it is served warm. It contains complex carbohydrates, good quality fats, and vegetables, which help to regulate blood sugar.
Kitchari is a go-to breakfast meal at my home, when I am wanting something heartier than miso soup, but still want something soothing to the digestion. But it can be eaten any time of day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
It seems to work as a “reset button” if I am having stomach troubles or just lacking appetite. I make enough so that I can have leftovers for lunch or breakfast the next day, adding some fresh greens and herbs when reheating.
- 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- ½ cup moong dal (split mung beans), rinsed and soaked overnight then drained
- ½ cup quinoa (tan or mixture of red and tan), rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon organic turmeric powder
- 2 cups sliced vegetables (such as zucchini, carrot, celery, butternut squash)
- 3-4 cups filtered or spring water, divided
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- a few grinds of black pepper
- fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- lemon, cut in wedges, for garnish
- Heat medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot on medium heat and add coconut oil. Add soaked moong dal and stir to coat well with the oil. Add quinoa and mix into dal. Toast on medium heat for a minute or two, then add ginger and turmeric and saute for a minute more.
- Add 2 cups water, stirring to make sure quinoa and dal are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add vegetables, sea salt, and additional water (1-2 cups) to achieve desired consistency (it can either be soft or a bit soupy). Simmer another 10 minutes, or until quinoa and dal are very soft.
- Add a few grinds of black pepper. Taste for seasonings. If it seems too dry, add more coconut oil.
- Serve in a bowl garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon.
Enjoy your Quinoa Kitchari!
For another version of kitchari, try my French Lentil and Green Bean Kitchari.