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Vegan Kitchari

A one pot, easy cleanup dinner, that is nurturing for your body, and infused with Ayurvedic medicine. This dish is packed with plant-based proteins, vegetables, rice, and Indian spices. I opted out of Ghee and replaced it with coconut oil to keep it vegan. This Kitchari can be made to be tri dosha friendly. If you are not sure what doshas are I will explain about them in this post.

Kitchari is an ideal food of choice during times of stress on the body, such as during an illness, periods of being overwork, or change of seasons.

Kitchari has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for cleansing and detoxing, as well for the sick, elderly, and as a babies first solid food. They use white rice rather than whole grain brown rice because it is easier to digest. To make it true Kitchari the rice needs to be paired with a legume. Typically they use split yellow mung dahl beans. Mung dahl is not supposed to cause intestinal gasses like most legumes. Combining the rice and beans together make a balanced protein, combining together to make 10 essential amino acids, for our bodies to absorb.

Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world oldest holistic healing systems. It has been around for over 3,000 years and originated in India. I was exposed to Ayurvedic medicine when I was a kid, my mom was into Panchakarma.  Panchakarma is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind, and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness, and self-healing. So you can say that Kitchari was on our stove top a lot when I was a kid. I learned from the master how to make kick-ass Kitchari. The one thing I love about Ayurvedic Medicine is that it’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. This philosophy could be integrated so much better into our western world, in my opinion.

There are many variations of a Kitchari recipe. I like mine a little more creamy that is why I add some coconut milk. You can also adjust the spices to your liking. The typical spices used for Kitchari are turmeric, ginger, mustard seeds, cardamom, fennel, cumin, and cinnamon. The spices are ajusted according to your dosha type usually.

What are Dosha’s?

Dosha’s make up the base foundation of Ayurvedic medicine. And in essence, the doshas are energetic forces of nature with functional principles that help us to better understand ourselves and the world around us.  There are three different types of doshas Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. We are born into a dosha type, which is usually referred to as your constitutional type. Sometimes you can be primarily one dosha and have secondary characteristics of another. There are some amazing quizzes online to help you establish your primary dosha type. In Ayurvedic Medicine, they believe that when you come out of balance with your constitutional dosha type it can create health problems. If you are wanting to do you dosha type this website has a great quiz.

Dosha types are quite involved and the characteristics of each are very fitting to the individual. This needs a whole other blog post to explain each type. So stay tuned for one!

This Kitchari is infused with fresh ginger, fennel, cardomon, cumin, sea salt, and turmeric for spices. You could also add cinnamon and other spices to suit it to your liking. This Kitchari recipe isn’t spicy, I keep it on the mild side so my kids will eat it but you can always kick it up a notch. My girls call this dish butter rice and love it! You can also adjust the vegetables as well. You could replace the spinach with kale. The nice thing about this recipe is with a little playing around you can get it perfect for you. I think my Kitchari recipe is perfect but there is always a way to make any recipe fit your needs better.

Here are a few tips on how to make this recipe to fit your dosha type.

Pitta dosha types can reduce the amount of ginger and cumin and add in fennel seeds. As Pitta is a fire element you want to add more cooling foods and spices. You can read more here.

Vata dosha types can reduce or eliminate the coconut milk as it is high in fat. You could replace it with lower fat coconut milk too. Since Vata is drying, cooling and light, you should favor foods that are oily, warming, or heavy. More on Vata here.

Kapha dosha types can reduce the amount of salt in the dish or eliminate it. They can also reduce the amount of oil to 1 tbsp. Because Kapha is heavy, oily, and cold, favor foods that are light, dry, or warm. Foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for pacifying Kapha. Read more here.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!! Let me know how you enjoyed learning about Ayurvedic Medicine. If you ended up taking dosha type quiz, let me know what dosha type you are and what you learned in the comments below 🙂

Stay warm!

With all my love,

Vegan Kitchari

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  • 1 cup basmati long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup mung dahl beans
  • 2 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
  • 8 cardamon seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 2 heaping cups of spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro chopped (fresh)


  • Rinse your rice and mung dahl beans with cold water. Set aside.
  • Cut veggies into small pieces. Set aside.
  • Put coconut oil into large pot. Heat until melted, then add your spices (turmeric, cardamon, cumin, and ginger) and onion. Saute for 1 minute, then stir in rice and mung dahl beans.
  • Pour water into pot and add all the vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to simmer cover with lid and cook on low for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and remove cardamon pods on the top. They aren't nice to eat.
  • Add spinach and coconut milk and stir. Cover with lid again and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with a large handful of cilantro.


lacto vegetarian
ovo vegetarian
gluten free
dairy free
egg free
soy free
wheat free
seafood free
treenut free
sesame free
mustard free
Main Course

INGREDIENTS NOTE: Mung Dahl beans can be found in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store. Make sure they are the yellow ones and that they are split. There is a picture of them in the first ingredients image of this post. 


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