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The holiday season is here!  The cycle of the year turns toward winter with a gentle blanket of snow dusting the Appalachian mountains. As the days and nights turn cold, we invoke the warming joy of this season of giving, in addition to, making space for the internal pull towards winter hibernation. Ayurveda has much wisdom to share about navigating the changes within and how to create internal warmth to balance Jack Frost’s chilly winds. In this post, we will explore lifestyle, dietary, and herbal  recommendations from the traditional texts that can apply to our current times to help you create Ayurvedic balance during the winter season.

The winter season is named Hemanta in sanskrit, the ancient language that codified Ayurvedic teachings. Fortunately,  the Appalachian climate here is similar to the northern Indian mountainous zones and we can directly apply much of the advice to the particulars of our own season. The ancient texts , like the Ashtanga Hridayam – one of the classical triad, offer us advice on how to modify our daily routines and lifestyle according to the seasons. 

Ayurvedic winter routine

The doshas that predominant in the winter season are Kapha and Vata. This is evidenced by the cold, rough, and alternating dry/wet, mobile/static qualities of our temperamental season in the mountains. The Ashtanga Hridayam (Su. ch. III, 7-17) speaks about the inherent strength we have during this season and the boost in our digestive power as agni, our internal fire, moves deep within us in response to the cold weather. Holiday feasts and festivities, however, can test this strength and the cold weather can dissuade us from venturing out to exercise, to kindle our metabolism and burn off the extra calories.

Here are some of the top lifestyle recommendations for creating balance this winter season:

  • During this season of the dark, as the nights grow longer in the approach of Winter Solstice, deep, longer sleep is encouraged, try to retire to bed a little earlier (by 10 pm) and wake up just a touch later (by 7 am).  
  • Begin you day with Kavala (commonly known as oil pulling) to detoxify your digestive organs.  Swish for 5-10 minutes with sesame oil, which is rich in Calcium to strengthen gums and teeth.  
  • Begin your day by balancing the dry, rough, cold qualities of winter with a warm oleation or Ayurvedic self massage, known as Abhyanga. Click the link for detailed information on how to perform an easy and effective routine. Recommended oils for winter season should be warming and grounding, like herbalized Vata oil or Sesame oil.
  • Following your self Abhyanga, take a warm bath or shower, to allow the pores to open further to receive the oil and wash off any excess oil.
  • Following your Abhyanga with a Steam saunas, if available, are an excellent way to boost the warming effects and absorption of the oil.
  • Consistent and more vigorous exercise should be performed. Winter is the time to step up your training schedule with a consistent, upbeat yoga practice or adding another day in your cardio fitness program.
ayurvedic massage therapy
ayurvedic exercise

An interesting note, In the texts we see reference to wrestling and deep tissue massage, as well as, sun exposure for winter season balance.

  • During winter season, adorn yourself with warming colors like red, orange, yellow, or white.  Snuggle up in heavier, warm, and cozy layers and don’t forget to cover your head, ears, neck and hands.  
  • Finish your day by oiling the crown of your head and soles of your feet with a little warm sesame oil to ground your energy and prepare for sleep.  
  • Follow with karna purana (oiliation of the ear) by filing each ear canal with warm sesame oil.  Karna Purna drives out accumulated Vata dosha, resulting from cold winter winds invading the space in the ear canal, thereby relaxing the mind and calming the central nervous system promoting a long, deep winter’s sleep.  
  • Stay turned for Winter Foods for Ayurvedic Balance, the subject for the next blog: An Ayurvedic Winter part II

Thanks for reading! Stay warm and keep the inner flame kindled. Wishing you and your loved ones the peace of the winter season

Massage has been used for centuries as a therapeutic tool for various ailments, injuries, and athletic recovery.  Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic practice of self-massage is a self-care ritual that supports the healing of inner and outer ailments the body might express. When pain or inflammation arises, it is often a call from our body that we need relaxation and self-healing. Self-Massage moves energy through the body which helps to clear the lymph system, relax muscles, and alleviate trapped emotion initiating a deeper connection to self.

Some of the many health benefits of abhyanga massage include: an increase in muscle tone and circulation, an increase in bowel regularity, calming of the nervous system and improvement in quality of sleep. Below you will find a sequence to start your Abhyanga practice.

Start with the head:  Pour a tablespoon of warm oil on your scalp.  Using the flat of your hand, not the fingertips, massage the oil in vigorously all over.  Cover your entire scalp with small circular strokes, as if you were shampooing, and adding a little oil as desired.  It is not necessary to soak your hair with oil.

Move to your face and ears, massaging more gently:  Gentle circles on the temples and backs of the ears is especially good for settling vata dosha.  Circle temples, cheeks. Stroke across upper lip and chin. Stroke across forehead.

Apply a small amount of warm oil to your entire body and then proceed with the abhyanga to each area.  This will allow the oil to have maximum amount of time in contact with your body.

Neck:  Massage back and forth and up and down the front and back of your neck, including the upper part of the spine (be gentle over the windpipe).

Arms – Hands:  Massage somewhat vigorously, using a circular motion at the shoulders and elbows and long, back and forth (or up/down) motions on the long muscles.  Massage back and forth on the palm and back of your hand and gently pull each finger.

Chest – Abdomen:  Make circles on the chest with both hands over pectoral muscles and gently sweep larger circles around the sides of breasts, and paddling towards nipples around them.  A gentle oval or up/down motion over your breastbone feels soothing. Also use circles on your abdomen, following the bowel direction clockwise.

Back – Sides:  Reach around without straining to massage your back and spine with up and down strokes or whatever you can do.  Pull forward on sides. If your spouse or mother is there have them do several long sweeps on your back and circles over the shoulder blade area.

Legs:  Start with full circles on your hip, then long strokes on the thigh.  Circles on knee with both hands, alternating, and long strokes on calf.

Feet:  Alternate (both hands) circles on ankle bone, one hand (fingers) up and down on achilles tendon down to heel.  Do some thumb work on soles if you have time. Work toes pulling gently. Back and forth with palms on top and soles of feet, in an alternating pattern.

Do a couple full sweeps over the face, the arms when you finish there, legs and feet when you are done there.

Allow time for rest and oil to be absorbed after massage.  Then follow with a warm bath, helps oil to penetrate deeper into the tissues. 

September approaches quicker than often expected and can be felt in the changes around and inside us. The still summer nights are slowly transforming as the sun dips lower into the sky earlier in the afternoon and the winds begin to pick up. The weather is less consistent, jumping from cool mornings and hot afternoons.  The atmosphere is beginning to dry out while becoming mobile and light from the winds. 

From the still steady heat of the summer to the inconsistent cold winds.We’re stepping into our first few days of Autumn. 

This time of year can be tough on the physical and mental body. The changing climate and increased winds can create anxiety in the mind while the cooler temperatures and lack of humidity began to dry things out.

Dehydration moves into the body allowing insomnia to set in for some, while others experience an increase in gas and bloating. Vata is rising and pitta has played its role in drying our epithelial tissues!

Now is the time to focus on staying hydrated to support digestion as the temperatures drop. We can slowly transition away from lighter foods by mixing in the heavier sweet and sour flavours. Butternut squash, yogurt, salmon, root veggies and sweet potatoes are being harvested and sold in markets this time of year.

While the winds pick up and that scatterbrained feeling sets we need to create time to settle down and settle in. As summer begins to leave us, it can be tempting to get in those last hikes or that last weekend trip. But the excess of mobility will increase vata in the body and mind only unsettling the qualities present. Spend time at home cuddled up on the couch enjoying a nice warm chia. Spend time in the kitchen, listening to sweet music while cooking roasted chicken and beets for dinner.

During the summer months Tejas is high, motivating us to stay active and move, but all of that heat driven activity  slowly burns up our Ojas, leaving us with lower levels of immunity this time of year. The changing climate further affects our immune system by drying out lymphatics and leaves us susceptible to feeling run down. Changing our focus away from the go go go of Tejas to the juicy sweetness of building Ojas will get our bodies ready for the winter months while protecting our immune systems during fall.

We build Ojas through resting our body and mind while enjoying delicious Ojas building treats. Chocolate date bliss balls, almond milk with dates and honey,  acorn squash with a dash of brown sugar and cinnamon, or, my favorite, mini date pecan bites, are all wonderful seasonally delicious treats to build and support your ojas right now

If you want to try your hand at making Mini Date Pecan Bites we included the recipe for you!

Ingredients make about 12 cups 

​2 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground red and white wheat mixed is ideal)

1 cup rice flour

1 cup coconut flour (optional, could substitute rice flour)

2 Tbsp flax meal

1 tsp mineral salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

pinch of clove powder

4 Tbsp ghee

8-12 large dates soaked in ghee for at least 2 weeks (if you can’t wait to try the recipe, you can use dry dates lightly cooked in ghee and water also)

12 whole pecans


Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl with your hand. Add ghee and enough water to make a soft moist dough (not sticky).

Make balls of dough about the size of golf balls and lay them out on a stainless cookie sheet or glass baking dish. Press your thumb into the middle of each ball and shape them into cups with equal thickness of bottom and sides.

Bake in an oven at 375F or 190C for 7-8 minutes and remove.

Place the dates and just a splash of water into the blender and blend to a thick consistency, adding water as needed. Place the date paste into the cup and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes then remove and cool.

Enjoy each ojas-building bite!

By august first our bodies have survived the heat of the summer and are starting to transition into this next season. In the last weeks of July and early August Vata begins to rise and the body responds accordingly. In the heat of the summer our bodies push heat to the surface to maintain homeostasis during the heat of the season. But as the days grow shorter and the temperatures at night begin to drop our bodies can become heavy and our muscles can feel tired. This dip in energy make August the perfect month to take a vacation! This month is also the ideal time to start enjoying  progressively heavier foods that will both nourish and moisten our bodies. 

Take a vacation!!! 


Though we don’t all have the luxury of taking a week off to head to the beach or the mountains for some much needed R&R that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a small vacation. This month is the best time of year to schedule a long weekend where we can relax, recover and adapt. 

Many of us live a short drive from a quaint town, a small body of water, or a cabin in the woods. Take advantage of what you have around you! If getting out of town isn’t an option, check out what you can do locally. Camping in your own backyard is a great way to create the feeling of vacation without having to dish out a lot of money. Sleeping under the stars in the cool of the night is a wonderful way to unwind and acclimate with natures transition.

Switching up the diet


As many of you know, heat can still be an issue in the middle of the day. We may begin to crave sweet, salty and carby foods as we move into the vata season, but we should keep these foods to the cooler parts of the day. Continue eating light fresh foods in the middle of the day while enjoying a few potatoes or root veggies at dinner. Avoid overly astringent foods during this time of year, enjoy cooling sour foods in the head of the day, like grapes or tart apples, and ease into chicken and potatoes at night for the added fats and nourishment. Remember, this month is only the beginning, so don’t over do it. It is important that we don’t bog the body down by overeating. 

Don’t dry out


Vata, by nature, is dry. This means that our systems can begin to dry out this time of year causing constipation, dry cracked lips, or dry rashes on the skin. To counteract the dry element creeping in, we can take advantage of a few wonderful habits, foods, and herbs.


Bring back the abhyanga! Daily oil massage is a wonderful way to add a bit of moisture to the body and it will give you instant relief to dry tight skin. Because the days are still warm we want to look at neutral oils such as sunflower oil or jojoba oil to ensure that the body doesn’t over heat.

Licorice root is a wonderful herb that can be added to any tasty tea. Licorice root can soothe dryness and inflammation while encouraging water retention. If you experience a noticeable increase in dryness this time of year you may want to slightly increase your salt intake. Definitely don’t overdo it!!! A small pinch will go a long way. Salt naturally encourages water retention and helps with muscle soreness by balancing electrolytes. 


As we talked about before, adding in foods with a higher fat content like chicken is a wonderful way to bring more moisture into your body. Rice that has been cooked with homemade chicken broth can nourish your body and satisfy the carb cravings of this season at the same time.

Almond Cinnamon Banana Ice Cream 


1 Tbsp Almond Butter

1 C Banana

¼ tsp cinnamon

When you have a few bananas that are ripe and sweet chop them into ½” pieces and freeze them for 4 hours. Place the frozen banana pieces in a food processor or high speed blender along with the almond butter and cinnamon. Blend the ingredients together, starting slow and increasing speed as the bananas starts to cream. You may need to assist in the blending process by occasionally scraping the sides with a rubber spatula while the blender is off. Once all of the ingredients are combined into a smooth soft creamy texture you can serve and enjoy. If the Ice Cream is too soft you can place it in a freezer safe container and pop it back in the freezer for 20 minutes. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and toasted almonds!

The month of July is filled with family and friends, celebrations, and floating down the river or in the pool. But July is also full of long hot days. The general vibe this time of year is heat! In some areas its dry sharp heat while in others is humid and heavy, but across our nation we can all agree that this month is a hot one. As we know like increases like and that means this is a month of high pitta. As the heat rises the pitta dosha becomes excited and unless we give our bodies what they need to maintain balance that excited pitta will grow and spread. As pitta spreads throughout the body it brings with it inflammation, rashes, infection, and more.

Our first line of defense is to stay cool in mind and body. We can do this by staying indoors during the hottest hours of the day, enjoying cooling foods, taking cool showers, and keeping the ac cranked to 60. That last part is a joke. But it is important for us to maintain a sense of chill.

Our go to herb for this time of year is rose. We love this fragrant beauty for more than its romantic sensibility and soft appearance. Rose increases the cold quality and decreases inflammation making it a great resource for summer. Rose presents as an astringent and sweet taste which are both pleasing and pacifying to pitta. This flower is cooling to the blood and astringent in nature.

Rose can be used in a variety of ways to bring balance to your system and help pacify rising pitta. You can use it by adding rose petals to an evening bath, enjoyed as a cup of tea, worn as an oil, and even misted as a water. Spritzing a light mist of rose water on your face is a wonderful way to cool off and refresh in the heat of the day.

During the summer we want to favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes over the others. These tastes are heavy, cooling, and dry which helps to pacify and balance the light, hot, and oily qualities of pitta.

The sweet taste is cooling, heavy and anti-inflammatory. It pacifies the hot and light aspects of pitta.  Sweet foods are ripened fruits, organic vegetables, and grains. Keep in mind that fruit moves through the digestive system quicker than other foods and should be eaten on their own.

The bitter taste is cool and dry. It pacifies the oily, wet and hot quality of pitta. You can find the bitter taste in dark leafy greens such as: collards, dandelion greens, kale, chard spinach, and in spices: fenugreek, turmeric, saffron and cumin.

The astringent taste is heavy, cold and dry. It pacifies the light, hot and oily qualities of pitta. This taste can be found in some fruits and vegetables like cranberries, pomegranate, broccoli and asparagus. Mung beans, chickpeas, and lentils are also of the astringent taste because of the dryness they possess. 

Yogurt is a heavy and sweet food that when diluted with water is easy to digest. Yogurt does possess the sour quality so when eaten on its own it can aggravate pitta and should be avoided in the summer months. However, when used to make the delicious drink we call Lassi, it is a delightful way to add a touch of sweetness to the heat of summer. Some of the most popular flavors of lassi are mango, strawberry, mint, or spiced, but today we are going to share our recipe for rose lassi. 

As the heat rises in the environment our bodies try to counteract this by dimming our internal flame. The biggest flame is the one that governs our digestion. This creates the perfect situation for slow stagnant digestion to set in. At a time when we want to look our best and have the energy to hike up a mountain, the last thing we want is slow digestion and bloating.

Lassie is a very easy to digest drink that can be used to relive high pitta while stoking the digestive fire. The smooth cool quality of the drink will balance the heat from carminative herbs, such as cardamom or ginger. So, we can enjoy a sweet beverage while also doing our belly a favor. Adding carminatives to lassie will stoke the fire in your gut and help digestion get going. Adding in elements such as rose, lavender, or spearmint will add a nice cooling element that is sure to pacify rising pitta.

Rose lassi is like a cool sweet glass of nourishing love. It’s cooling to the body, nourishing to our tissues, calming to the mind and easy to digest. 

 To make rose lassi you will want to use a nice quality high speed blender so that you are able to incorporate all the ingredients together to create a smooth texture. The last thing you want is a lump lassi. Lassi is very easy to make


½ cup fresh yogurt

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon organic rose petal jam or 1 Teaspoon rose water

Organic natural sugar to taste


1 pinch ground cardamom (optional)

Summer’s just around the corner. This means long days filled with friends, fun, and sun. As much fun as it is to run around in the heat of the high sun it’s important that we stay hydrated and keep our bodies from overheating. 

Ayurveda sees summer as the season of pitta, so we look to pitta pacifying qualities to keep the body cool. Coconut water has a nice cooling affect that when combined with spirulina will work to cool your blood, cooling your body down quickly. Cilantro helps to cool down digestion while stoking your agni or digestive fire. While the avocado adds a dose of brain boosting fats to help keep you sharp through out the day. 

The star of this smoothie is, of course, the luscious sweet and juicy pineapple. This tasty fruit is packed with all kinds of immune boosting, disease fighting antioxidants! It help with digestion and can reduce inflammation. 

Pineapple Cilantro Lime Smoothie

1 cup chopped pineapple

1/2  of a large, or 1 small avocado

2 Tbs. cilantro, tightly packed

Juice from 1/2 a lime 

1 tsp Spirulina

1 cups coconut water

Add pineapple, avocado, lime, and spirulina to the blender and begin to blend slowly. Pour in the coconut water adding in a half cup at a time. Once all of the coconut water is added turn up the speed of the blender and allow it to blend. 

Enjoy immediately. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a sprig of cilantro. 

The days have grown long and the temperature is creeping into the high 80s and low 90s. Its summer! Ayurveda sees summer as the season of pitta, characterized by the elements of fire and water.

As pitta rises in the atmosphere we may notice pitta emotions or symptoms. We may grow irritable in the heat of the day or find ourselves becoming inpatient in traffic. Some of us experience skin irritation, rashes, or blemishes from the heat affecting our body systems. Others thrive in the warm humid climate.

For those of us noticing the influence of pitta on our mental, physical, or emotional condition, we can be proactive by pacifying excess pitta to reducing its effects.

One of the most important things  for every constitutional type in the summer season is keep cool. This means staying out of the midday sun. Working out in the cool of the morning or evening. Wearing light linen or cotton clothing in cool tones like blues and grays. Enjoying cool (not cold) showers to keep our bodies cooled off and energized in the high heat of the day.

Keeping cool also applies to our emotional and mental health. It’s easy to become hot headed or short tempered on long hot days.

Try adding checkpoints to your day. During this time you can take a moment to evaluate your emotional temperature and take a break with 5 deep breaths.

We can also listen to sweet and calming music, enjoying light hearted books or podcasts, and spending time with our favorite people.

As external heat rises our bodies counteract that heat by dimming down our own internal fire. This means that our digestive fire isn’t as strong as it is in the winter.

Protect your digestive fire by steering clear of ice cold drinks and too many frozen treats. Enjoy light meals that are well spiced (cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric) but not overly spicy (sriracha, hot peppers, etc.) This is the time for cooling foods like cilantro, lime, coconut, fresh fish, cucumber, and quinoa. Get creative and create bright dishes that compliment the summer season.

One of my favorite summer recipes is a cilantro pineapple smoothie. It’s bright, refreshing, and due to spirulina and other cooling ingredients, it can cool your internal body temperature to help you get through those long hot summer days.

In the spring season Kapha is at its highest point, making it common to experience Kapha type symptoms. The damn heavy atmosphere creates the perfect environment for thick congestion, sinus issues, and fatigue. There are a lot of simple remedies that combat these spring irritants, but today we want to talk about the simplicity of cinnamon, ginger, and licorice tea.

Cinnamon helps to clear mucous and encourages the circulation of Vata throughout the respiratory system. If you’re congestion is present because of a spring cold, try adding fresh ginger root to the mix for an extra boost of mucous clearing from the respiratory system. Licorice is a wonderful demulcent that will reduce inflation while soothing any irritation from coughing and helps to clear Kapha from the lungs.


Cinnamon / ginger /licorice tea recipe (for daily dose):

Bring 1 quart of water to boil 
Add 1 1/2 ” of fresh Ginger, 2 Cinnamon sticks, and 2 licorice sticks or 2 teaspoons cut  licorice root
Boil for 30 minutes or until 3 cups are left 

Drink a cup after meals 3 times a day.

As the days of spring grow longer and the heat of the sun sets in, Kapha and Pitta collide. Spring may be the season of Kapha, with its cool damp tones bringing the earth back to life, but when the heat of the season starts to show it’s clear that pitta season is right around the corner. Many of us are encountering a sea of pollen while spending more time outdoors with the inviting weather, the thought of getting ready for summer is on your minds and for those of pitta constitution now is a time for noticing early signs of imbalance and preparing for our doshic season! With spring Allergies exemplifying the interface of the doshas and often creating sinus congestion, there are two simple medicines that can be found in the kitchen that can help us to adjust through this season and get ready for the next.

Cinnamon and ginger are two common yet powerful substances that can be used on their own or combined to help with spring allergies.

A few of the biggest symptoms we try to combat this season are sinus and chest congestion. It makes sense, the cool, damp, and cloudy qualities of kapha are hanging in the air. Combine this with the clouds of pollen blowing and makes it a hard job for our nasal passages to take in the spring air without irritation.


If you are suffering from sinus congestion you can use powdered ginger ( or even stronger powdered cinnamon) to open the sinus cavities and clear out excess mucus. Create a paste by adding a small amount of water to ginger powder, then generously apply it to your face around your sinuses mimicking glasses, but keep it clear from the delicate tissues right around the eyes.  You can leave this on for ten minutes or until it dries and carefully wash it off. Be wary of the slight burning sensation but it is well worth it to breathe again. This is also helpful from those allergy related sinus headaches!

Chest congestion can be cleared by drinking a cinnamon / ginger / licorice tea (click for recipe). The cinnamon helps to clear mucous and encourages the circulation of Vata throughout the respiratory system. If you’re congestion is present because of a spring cold, try adding fresh ginger root to the mix for an extra boost of mucous clearing from the respiratory system.



The change of season from winter to spring can have a dampening effect on digestion, leaving many of us with sluggish digestion or manda agni. Cinnamon and ginger are wonderful additives to stoke the digestive fire! Licorice helps to lubricate the stomach and intestine and counter the heating effects of the previous two spices.

Adding cinnamon to a cup of warm ginger tea and drinking before meals will help heat things up!  The licorice balances the combination by its sweet and cooling anti inflammatory nature.This combination will increase agni and the secretion of digestive enzymes. Cinnamon also helps to relieve gas and expel excess water that we may be holding onto this time of year. The licorice controls excess inflammation and is a boon for allergic reactions.


You may notice that even though the temperature are rising you are still experience cold extremities. Cinnamon helps to stimulate vyana vayu and opens up circulation to the joints. This helps the body to move heat to the extremities away from the digestive organs. Adding cinnamon to your tea or oatmeal can help to warm things up as your body adjusts.

Taking the time to adjust to the current environment will help your body transition to the next season. Clearing out excess kapha before it becomes stagnant will help you to feel lighter making the rising heats more bearable. Enjoy your Spring, breathe easier as you prepare for the excitement and joy of long summer days and outdoor activities with family and friends!

Kitchari is the perfect dish for the spring season. Spring is the season of detoxification and this delicious dish is a great way to give your body a much-needed break while it works on resting your digestion it gently promotes detoxification from winter accumulations and the holidays!

Kitchari is balancing to all three doshas and can be jazzed up, spiced up, or flavored in ways appealing to your taste buds and personal needs.  To make kitchari you start with basmati rice and lentils or dal. This combination creates a dish that is easy to digest and is nourishing to the body. A bowl of rice and lentils by themselves may not sound too appetizing and that’s why you can add in any variety of veggies, spices, and even meat into the mix.

When making Kitchari for the whole family or a group of friends it’s a great idea to make a batch that is balancing and pleasing to all three doshas and putting out extras or condiments to later add into the dish.

To create a basic Kitchari, start by soaking 1 cup of split yellow mung dal or red lentils. It’s best to allow them to soak for a few hours or overnight, this allows the dal or lentils to soften ensuring you have a soft and easily digestible final product. After soaking you want to place them in a strainer and wash them thoroughly.

In a large saucepan on medium heat add your ghee or high heat oil then spices. We enjoy mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds. Allow the seeds to simmer in the hot ghee until the mustard seeds pop and the others lightly brown. This allows the full aromas of the seeds to blend in with the meal.


Once the seeds have opened up and filled the air with their lovely aroma you can add in your rice, dal, veggies, and other spices.  Gently stir and coat them with the seeds and oil.You can add any veggies your heart desires to this dish or tailor it to your doshic needs, we enjoy seasonals like asparagus, spinach, and root veggies.

Pour in your water and bring to a boil. Let the pan boil for 5 minutes before turning it down low. Cover the pot and allow it to cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the lentils and rice are tender.

Your dinner crowd may define what powdered spices and condiments you add to your kitchari in the last 10 minutes of cooking. For pitta soothing add turmeric, cumin, and fennel powder with shredded coconut or chopped cilantro garnish. For vata and Kapha soothing add a tiny pinch of Hing, ginger powder and garam masala, perhaps more of the heating spices like ginger and pepper, even cayenne for Kapha. Salt can also be added at this time.

Some further ways to jazz up your kitchari are by garnishing it with things that will make your mouth and belly happy!

For the Vata predominant folks out there you can add yogurt or ghee for extra moisture or warm things up with a squeeze of lime.

Pitta predominates folks might enjoy the soothing and cooling freshness of lime and cilantro added to the kitchari. Coconut milk is also a wonderful additive that cools down the spices and can also be added in while cooking.

To kick up the spice and get things moving Kapha predominant folks may enjoy adding an extra pinch hing, ginger powder, cinnamon or clove.

You could even get creative by adding chipotle, chicken, shredded coconut, or anything else. Kitchari is a wonderful dish to be expressive with!

We hope that this inspires you to get in the kitchen and whip up a big batch of kitchari that you and the whole family can enjoy.


Basic Kitchari Recipe

 This recipe is just for the base, add in seasonal vegetables or favorites like zucchini, asparagus or sweet potato. You can also add coconut milk, or other spices to the dish as well as adding cooked meats to the dish once its cooked.


1 cup basmati rice

1 cup mung dal or lentils

5-6 cups water

3 tsp. ghee

½ tsp. coriander seeds

½ tsp. cumin seeds

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

½ to 1-inch fresh ginger root, chopped or grated

¼ tsp – ½ tsp rock or sea salt


Optional: Assorted veggies, coconut milk, shredded coconut, cilantro lime and yogurt to garnish.


And of course, no kitchari is complete without its counterpart the papadam. If you are eating kitchari for a cleanse, I’m sorry to say it, but you’ll want to pass on the papadams. But if you’re making it as a diner to share with friends, papadams are a tasty crunchy gluten-free cracker that provides the perfect vehicle for eating your kitchari. Papadam can be found at most grocery stores in the ethnic section of the store.