Simple & Nourishing Tridoshic Kitchari Recipe

Simple & Nourishing Tridoshic Kitchari Recipe

I’ve been learning about Ayurveda, the ancient science of wellbeing from India, since I was a little girl. My mother had a book with a doshas quiz that she did for my big sister and me, and I was fascinated. This logical and empowering holistic system continued to speak to me over the years, providing me with an ever-expanding understanding of my own nature and how the human body, mind, and whole being live within and respond to all of the conditions and rhythms of nature all around us. 

I read books, took workshops, even worked with a few Ayurvedic practitioners to help return my body and mind to balance during different seasons of challenge and change in my own life. Eventually I felt called to study Ayurveda formally so that I could share its teachings in my work too, and so I enrolled in a program at Kerala Ayurveda Academy and began the Ayurvedic Health Counselor certification process.

In one of the first classes of the program, the teacher told us that “Ayurveda is an ocean.” The more you learn the more it expands, and it’s true. What I love though is how Ayurveda can be as studied and complex as a doctoral level, as simple and accessible as daily wellbeing practices, and many, many levels in between. I am not a doctor, nor am I called to be one, but I am by nature called to teach and guide others, which is why it felt aligned to become a coach and counselor in Ayurveda myself, so that I can incorporate the incredible holistic wisdom and practices it offers into my own classes, writings, workshops, and retreats with my students and clients.



Today I’m going to share with you an incredibly nourishing, tasty, and adaptable recipe from my studies at Kerala that I’ve adapted slightly for ease. Feel free to follow it step by step or to make small substitutions of your own to suit your inspirations. The vegetables it calls for are meant to be seasonal, so you can adapt this recipe throughout the year for whatever is most vividly in season. Just as seasonal flowers are the healthiest and most beautiful, so are seasonal vegetables the tastiest and most full of vitality. 

My favorite thing about this recipe, besides it being a complete vegetarian protein, easy to make, and super delicious, is that it’s “tridoshic,” which means it is balancing for all three of the “doshas” or functional energies of the body. It doesn’t matter if your constitution has more Vata (airy, dry, mobile qualities), Pitta (fiery, hot, acidic qualities), or Kapha (dense, sweet, heavy qualities) because the ingredients and spices in this dish are balancing to all three. Best of all is that it’s easy to digest too, making it something accessible and harmonious with your digestion, whether you are in recovery or in perfect health.




Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-5 people




    2 tablespoons of ghee

    1 cup basmati rice

    ½ cup mung dal or lentils (my favorites are black beluga or French green)

    3 ½ cups of hot water

    1-2 cups of chopped seasonal vegetables

    2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

    ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds

    ¼ teaspoon of cumin seeds

    ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder

    1 teaspoon of coriander powder

    1 tablespoon of grated ginger root

    1 teaspoon of salt

    2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro or baby dill

    A few wedges of fresh lime 

    Optional plain yogurt for a topping




    Measure 1 cup of basmati rice, and pour it into a fine mesh strainer.

    Measure ½ cup of mung dal or lentils, and pour it into the fine mesh strainer with the rice.

    Rinse the rice and dal/lentils until the water that comes through them is clear.

    Wash and chop the veggies into 1-inch pieces.

    Combine fennel seeds and cumin seeds in a small prep bowl and set aside.

    Combine turmeric powder, grated ginger, and coriander powder in another small prep bowl and set aside.

    Heat the water in a kettle or separate saucepan.

    Set aside 1 teaspoon of salt in a separate small prep bowl.


      Heat the ghee over medium-low in a large saucepan.

      Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.

      Add fennel seeds and cumin seeds, and saute for 1-2 minutes.

      Add the washed rice and dal to the pan, and sauté together with the spices for 2 minutes.

      Add the turmeric powder, ginger, and coriander, and mix them very well with the rice and dal mixture.

      Add the 3 ½ cups of hot water to the pan, and bring it to a boil.

      Once the water is boiling, stir in the salt and chopped vegetables and turn the heat down to medium-low.

      Cover and cook for 15-25 minutes or until tender, checking in to stir and add water as needed to keep the mixture moist.

      Serve in bowls with toppings of chopped fresh cilantro or dill. 

      Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a scoop of plain yogurt as garnishes.


        Every time I’ve made this recipe for Carr and myself or for friends, everyone is delighted and curious to know what it is so they can make too. Enjoy treating yourself to this grounding and yummy kitchari, and share the nourishment with anyone you know who might love to try it.

        In health and wholeness,

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