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Winter Kitchari

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

A nourishing and nutritious kitchari perfect for the winter season!

In Ayurveda, our bodies are an integral part of the natural world and finding balance within that is the key to health and wellness. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we aren't separate from nature but a part of it. Our modern day lives mean that we are sometimes out of sync with the rhythm of nature, the rhythm of the Earth and the rhythm of the seasons. This is why I love eating seasonally as much as possible, it reminds me of the importance of nourishing oneself according to the seasonal changes. Different types of foods help your body to find balance during different times of the year.

The 3 doshas - vatta, kapha and pitta are also ruled by different elements - air, water and Earth. So eating in accordance to both your personal dosh as well as the seasons has incredible benefits for your mind, body and spirit. One of the tridoshic meals that I love is Kitchari, which is traditionally made from a mix of basmati rice, split mung dhal and Ayurvedic spices. Kitchari pronounced 'kich-u-ree' is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that is incredibly healing for the body. It provides vital nutrients to the body while simultaneously detoxifying and cleansing it.

Benefits of kitchari include:

  • supports gut health and digestion

  • kickstarts the immune system

  • rich in potassium, folate, copper, zinc, iron, selenium and magnesium

  • provides essential amino acids and is a complete protein

  • maintains bone health

  • nourishes the tissues of the body

  • detoxifying and cleansing

  • comforting, nourishing and affordable

I've created a little spin on the traditional Kitchari by using quinoa, split mung dhal and Ayurvedic spices!

I have teamed up with one of my favourite iconic local SA brands - Nomu to create some delicious, nutritious and nourishing plant based recipes inspired by their range of incredible products. This dish is packed with spices from Nomu and they have a great selection of spices, herbs, cook's salt and local olive oil. You can use my code MIRAWEINER10 to get 10% off on your online purchases.

Let’s cook ☺


  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight

  • 1 cup split yellow mung dhal, soaked overnight

  • 6,5 cups water

  • 8 cardamom cloves

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds

  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • Coconut or olive oil for cooking

Serving suggestion:

Top with winter greens (I used sautéed leeks, spinach, nettle, wild greens and bok choi)

Toasted pumpkin seeds;

Pickled red onions or sauerkraut


1. I used my InstantPot to make this but it can absolutely be made on the stove too. It will just take a bit longer to cook (approx. an hour or so). Set the InstantPot on sauté mode and using about 2 tsp oil roast the fennel and black mustard seeds until the seeds pop. Add the rest of the spices and toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly until nice and fragrant. Add the bay leaves, soaked and rinsed mung dhal and quinoa plus the water to the InstantPot. Set to pressure cook mode and cook for 30 minutes.

2. While the Kitchari cooks make the toppings of choice. You can do winter greens or any veggies of your preference.

3. I like to add something fermented like pickled onions or sauerkraut as well as a crunchy topping like toasted seeds.

4. The Kitchari can also be eaten plain on its own as well. Enjoy!


Recipe by Mira Weiner

Photography by Mark Chipps


With love,




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