Kitchari with Cauliflower and Peas

Here is a great recipe to follow on from your pancha karma or kitchari cleanse. For a simple one-pot meal, serve with yoghurt and mint chutney. For a full Indian meal, serve with potato, squash and chard sabji, mint chutney, carrot raita and creamy almond pudding.

This recipe originates from Yamuna Devi's book Lord Krishna's Cuisine but has been modified into a lower carb version and with cooking instructions for altitude as well as a way not to turn the cauliflower to mush.

Serves: 9 with sabji or 4 as a one-pot meal


  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 1 medium to large cauliflower, washed, dried and cut into flowerets

  • 1 pinch of hing (asafetida)

  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon shredded fresh ginger root

  • 1 tablespoon minced seeded hot chilies (or as desired)

  • 2 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 cup split mung dal

  • 1 cup fresh green peas

  • 7 cups water

  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • Clean, wash, soak and drain rice and dal.

  • Have the hing ready next to the stove. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee (Learn how to make ghee) in a 4-5 quart saucepan over high heat. When it is hot, stir in ginger root, chilies and cumin seeds. Fry until the cumin seeds turn brown. (they will darken in seconds).

  • Quickly add the hing. Add the rice and dal and fry for about 1 minute. Next, if living close to sea level, cook the rice and dal in a heavy-bottomed 4-5 quart saucepan for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the texture is similar to oatmeal. Add more water as needed. If living at altitude, cook the spiced rice and dal in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes, until the texture is similar to oatmeal. Ad more water if needed.

  • Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower florets and thaw the frozen peas.

  • Take the rice and dal mix off pressure, if using a pressure cooker. Add the turmeric, cauliflower, peas and salt. Cook together for a few minutes, stirring frequently, but do not allow the cauliflower to turn to mush or the peas to turn yellowish.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!