Winter Kitchari & A Two Day Cleanse

Contributor: Ashley Neese
Photographer: Ashley Neese
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Kitchari, is the main cleansing meal in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a combination of split mung beans and basmati rice. Traditional kitchari is made from white basmati rice because it is easier to digest. This healing one pot meal gives our often taxed digestion a break, balances metabolism, cleanses the liver, refreshes our blood, and supports our body to detox what it needs to.


Eat the kitchari over the course of a weekend or any couple of days that you have a little extra down time. The beauty of kitchari is that you can eat as much as you want. I recommend eating many small meals throughout the day verses three big meals. Smaller meals helps to stabilize blood sugar and will make this a much smoother process. Eat kitchari for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack. Supplement with hot tea and green juice. Try to drink your green juices as close to room temperature as possible.

It is very important to drink plenty of water and get tons of rest on any cleanse, even if it’s only for two days. If you feel great after the two days then add on an extra day or two. Listen to your body and pay attention to the signals.

Cleansing Kitchari 2 Day Cleanse

Days 1 + 2

  • 8 oz of Lemon Water (first thing in the morning)
  • 8oz of Green Juice (1-2 per day)
  • Kitchari (as much as you want all day)
  • Herbal Tea (1-2 cups per day)
  • Water (1/2 your body weight in ounces per day)

Self care treatments and practices you can do while cleansing

Ginger Detox Bath

Avocado Honey Mask

Restorative Yoga Pose

Mindful Eating

W I N T E R   K I T C H A R I

Serves 4-5

I N G R E D I E N T S  //

  • 1 c. split mung dal
  • 1 c. brown basmati rice
  • 1 & 1/2 piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 c. purified water
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 5 whole cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • 6 c. water

M E T H O D //

  1. Rinse mung dal and rice well. Add mung dal and rice to a small bowl and cover with water. Let soak over night, 10-12 hours. The next day rinse in 2 changes of water. Set aside.
  2. Put the ginger, coconut, cilantro, and water in a small blender and blend until you have a smooth liquid.
  3. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat and add the ghee, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon for a minute or two until very fragrant. Be careful not to burn the spices.
  4. Add the blended mixture to the pot along with the turmeric and salt. Stir until it is light brown.
  5. Stir in the mung dal and rice well to coat completely.
  6. Pour in the water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil for five minutes them reduce to a simmer on the lowest possible setting, lid ajar for 25-30 minutes or until mung dal and rice is very soft.
  7. When kitchari is done turn off heat and let sit.
  8. Serve warm with a few pieces of fresh cilantro for garnish.

If you’re doing this cleanse and plan to eat it all day, portion out some kitchari to take to work in a thermos and eat it warm or at room temperature. Kitchari can easily be reheated in a small pot on the stove, just add some water and cook on low to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.