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Balancing Kitchari. Vata Ayurvedic Recipe
Balancing Kitchari. Vata Ayurvedic Recipe

Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga, and it includes three "doshas": vata, pitta, and kapha. Doshas are energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. Fall is typically considered "vata season" in Ayurvedic medicine because its characteristics most embody the attributes that make up vata: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear (or empty).

This Kitchari recipe adapted from Chef Lynda is one of my favorites as it balances vata by supplying warmth, nourishment, oiliness, comfort, and grounding during harsh vata season. It also includes adaptations if you are more pitta or kapha. Learn more about Ayurveda and Vata season here and enjoy!

Balancing Kitchari (Vata)


1 cup split yellow mung beans (moong dal)

¾ cup white basmati rice

2 pieces kombu

2 bay leaves

10-12 cups water

2 tbsp. yellow mustard seed

2 tbsp. coriander seeds

2 tbsp. turmeric powder

2 tbsp. ginger, fresh grated 

1 tbsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp asafetida (hing)

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt


1. Combine the mung beans, rice, kombu, bay leaves and spices in a large pot.  

2. Add 10 cups of water to start, or enough to cover mixture with 3-4 inches of water.  

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. 

4. Continue to cook on low for about 2-3 hours.  

5. If adding vegetables to the mix, add after 30 minutes of cooking. 

6. Check occasionally and stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.  

7. For very well cooked and soupy kitchari, add more water and continue to cook until desired consistency.

8. To serve, place the following in separate bowls- lime wedges, warm ghee, chutney, chopped cilantro.

Makes 64-72oz (about 8 servings). Serve with lime wedges, ghee and chopped cilantro. Top with cooked carrots and pickled beets as pictured if you like :)

Variations for Pitta:

Avoid mustard seeds and ginger

Increase fennel seeds

Variations for Kapha:

Increase ginger

Add ¼ tsp clove powder and cardamom powder

Omit ghee

By Jenny Darco

Learn more about Ayuveda and what dosha you are in Yoga Download's Yoga & Ayuveda 101 program!

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