Butternut squash kitchari (spiced dal with rice)

Butternut squash kitchari (spiced dal with rice)

Hi! Today, in my somewhat out-of-it post-vacation state (hah), I’m sharing probably my most frequently made meal-prep food: kitchari. What on earth is this, you may ask? Kitchari is a delicious dish from ancient Ayurvedic food known for its warming, cleansing + healing properties. Aka HELL YES for me because my digestion is wack and all over the place and I need all the help I can get.

Kitchari is not only super easy to digest, it’s actually VERY delicious as well and the perfect winter/early spring food that you can make a big batch of and eat all week. When I was in India, we ate a lot of this and similar stews, and I must say my digestion was on fleek 😉 It contains a ton of warming spices (without the use of onion or garlic) and is surprisingly rich and filling. The ghee added at the end is the most luxurious touch.

I adapted this dish from the Ayurvedic institute recipe, which I frequently turn to and add my own spin on. Below is my version with tons of butternut squash and other veggies (and bit less rice). I hope you give it a try and love it! I never get sick of this simple, beautiful dish.

Butternut squash kitchari (spiced dal with rice)

Servings: 4

butternut squash kitchari | kulaskitchen.com


  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 c. split yellow mung beans (or if you can't find, just use split yellow peas)
  • 1/4 c. basmati rice
  • 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled + chopped into small cubes
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 5 c. filtered water
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped + cubed
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped + cubed
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)
  • Large handful of greens (like spinach or kale), if desired
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Cilantro + a squeeze of lime for topping


  1. Wash your rice and beans (separately) in cold water to remove excess dirt + starch.
  2. In a large pot, heat your coconut oil over medium-low heat and add the ginger, cooking for a few minutes until soft and browning. Add your cubed butternut squash and let it sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the rice, dal and 5 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 mins, add your carrot and cook for another 10 mins. Once this mixture is all soft (you can use a fork to test the softness of the carrot/squash), add your zucchini + pepper and cook 5-10 minutes longer.
  4. In a small saucepan/skillet (I use my mini cast iron), heat your ghee and sauté your spices in it until the seeds pop a bit. Stir this ghee mixture into the cooked kitchari mixture, then add your 1/2 tsp. of salt. You can also add any soft greens at this time and let them wilt for a couple of minutes.
  5. Serve topped with cilantro, sprouts, nuts, chilli flakes and whatever else you like!

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