Principles of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine in Cooking

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Kitchari/ Kitachdi

  • At the core of Ayurvedic nutritional healing
  • Simple stew of basmati rice and split mung dhal (or whole). Some recipes now use yellow mung dhal also so use what you have
  • Primary food used in Indian detoxing called “Panchakarma” because they ease digestion and assimilation
  • Balance the different doshas in different ways based on the herbs / or spices used


  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • ¼ cup split mung dhal
  • ½ burdock root (clears the kidneys and blood)
  • 1 ½ cup green beans (acts as a diuretic)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon amaranth
  • 1 stick kombu
  • 6-10 cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder


  1. Wash rice and mung until water is clear. Wash burdock and peel and then slice in inch slices like a carrot. Wash green beans and chop.
  2. Warm ghee in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add fennel and cumin seeds and saute.
  4. Add rice and mung and saute for a couple of minutes.
  5. Put burdock and green beans in immediately after the rice and beans and stir/saute for one minute.
  6. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Put kombu, amaranth, and salt in once it comes to a boil and reduce to medium heat. Cover and cool until tender (1 - 1 ½ hours), adding water as needed to keep moist. Before serving, add coriander powder, stir well and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Alternate Directions

  • Saute in Ghee (or butter, oil) the herbs you want to use
  • Add cumin and mustard seeds first
  • Then add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel seeds, ginger (whole or ground), sea salt
  • Err on sautéing less than more
  • Add 1 cup mung beans or yellow dhal and ½ cup soaked rice
  • Add in any vegetables you have at home (broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas, cauliflower)
  • Add 5 cups of water
  • Let it boil and then turn to simmer to desired consistency (at least 40 minutes)
  • Top with ghee or coconut oil and fresh herbs


For winter colds, flus: Add ginger and ‘ajwan’ to help decongest lungs, onion and garlic stimulate system and circulation, sweet potatoes rich in Vitamin A that soothes lung membranes and bronchioles and supports immune system.

For Liver and Gall Bladder, you can add pearl barley, burdock root, parsnip, dry dandelion root, grated ginger, dark leafy greens The options are endless. Food is medicine. Nutritive herbs are the BEST!

Balancing The Doshas