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Comforting Spiced Kitchari Dal Bhat

This Comforting Spiced Kitchari Dal Bhat, is a modified version of the nutritive, cleansing Kitchari from the spiritual community of Shoshoni, and a shoutout to a lifetime yogi friend for his cooking instructions. Dal Bhat which means lentils and rice, is a staple the food served daily in Nepal and India. When you combine the rice and red lentils, you have a complex protein. Kitchari is often used in Ayurvedic medicine as a cleansing food as it's very easy to digest and is nutritive. In the Ayurvedic tradition, kitchari is one of the foods that is considered sattvic. Sattvic is calming to your digestion and digestive track, and includes vegetables, oils or ghee (clarified butter), fruits, beans, and whole grains. In fact, I regularly follow the at home cleanse suggested by LifeSpa where you eat only this. You can make a big batch of it while you are doing the cleanse or on a solitary retreat doing self-care. It's so spicy and comforting and inexpensive, the staff at Shoshoni always say that it's their favorite thing for them to eat!


  • 2 C dried yellow or red split peas Moong Dal
  • 5 C water
  • 2 T ghee, coconut or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried fennel seed
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger root
  • 1 T black mustard seeds
  • 1 T cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chili paste or a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • or sub the above 4 with Quality Curry Powder
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 T monkfruit or cane sugar
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • Rice: Long Grain Organic Basmati Rice Cooked on the side
  • Condiments: Plain Greek Yogurt Mango Lime Pickle and Chutney on the side


  • Rinse split peas. Bring water to boil in a large pot, and add peas. Return to boil, stir, then lower heat, and simmer 1 hour until tender.
  • In a skillet, heat oil and sauté, mustard seeds until they "pop" and turn grey. Add cumin seeds and fry until golden. Make sure to cover the pan when cooking seeds, or they'll "pop" all over your kitchen! Add garlic,
  • ginger, onions, turmeric, chili paste or cayenne, ground cumin, and coriander (or curry powder).
  • Sauté, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauté, until the tomato is mushy (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add mixture to Dal, salt, and cook with vegetables another 20 minutes, adding 1c water. Warm rice and condiments are served on the side.