Ayurvedic Mung Bean or Lentil and Rice Stew

Ginger root sliced
Fresh ginger root julichka/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
174 Calories
9g Fat
19g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 174
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 200mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for kitchari is a soupy Ayurvedic mung bean and rice stew. Kitchari (“mishmash” in Hindi) is traditionally used as a restorative food after illness or childbirth, but also as part of the Ayurvedic cleansing protocol called Panchakarma. This simple dish is composed of rice and mung or lentil dal cooked with spices. It is great to eat if you are doing a home cleanse. The Chinese think very highly of mung beans as food for detoxification, and kitchari is particularly strengthening for the stomach, liver and large intestine. This recipe is an adaptation of Vasant Lad’s original. Unlike contemporary Ayurvedic cleansing recipes, this one utilizes whole grain rice which has excellent nutritive properties, and olive oil instead of ghee (clarified butter). You can either grind your own spices (our preference) or use pre-ground spices for this dish.


  • 1 1/2 cups split yellow mung beans, or red lentils

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 8 cardamom pods

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 pinch sea salt

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the beans and rice and soak in filtered water for a few hours or overnight. Drain well.

  2. Blend the ginger root and coconut together with 1 cup of water and set aside.

  3. Heat the olive oil over medium flame in a heavy-bottomed pot. Grind up the cumin, coriander, and fennel and add to the pot along with the cardamom and turmeric. Stir briefly, and then add the ginger-coconut mixture, bay leaves and cinnamon.

  4. Stir well, add the beans and grains and salt to taste, along with 6 cups filtered water.

  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 30 to 35 minutes, until the dal and rice are tender.

  6. Add the chopped cilantro, stir well and serve.

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