Pongal or South Indian Kitchari | Pongal Recipe | Ayurveda Living

Pongal or South Indian Kitchari

Pongal or South Indian Kitchari

Dosha benefits: Pitta, Kapha, Vata


  • 1 cup rice 
  • ½ cup moong dal (split yellow) 
  • 6 cups (approx.) water 
  • ½ inch ginger root chopped 
  • Himalayan Salt (1/4 tsp. or so) 
  • ½  tsp. coconut oil 
  • ½  tsp. coriander powder 
  • ½  tsp. cumin powder 
  • ½  tsp. whole cumin seeds 
  • ½  tsp. mustard seeds 
  • ½  tsp. turmeric powder 
  • ½ tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) 
  • Handful of fresh curry leaves
  • ½ tbsp Cashews
  • Optional: assorted vegetables or greens


  • Heat coconut oil in a pressure cooker
  • Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped ginger, slit green chillies, crushed pepper, curry leaves & saute them 
  • Add turmeric powder in the oil followed by water, salt and mix well. 
  • Add dry roasted and washed rice grains, split moong dal and mix well.
  • Pressure cook the mixture for 1 to 2 whistles. 
  • Once the pressure is released, enjoy steaming hot Pongal or Kichari is ready.
  • Make sure that the Pongal is semi-thick in consistency.

Pongal Kichari benefits:

  • Kitchari is balancing for all constitution types.
  • The split moong is easy to digest for even people with weak digestion.
  • The combination of rice and moong dal provides all the amino acids needed to form complete protein
  • Kitchari is typically given to people who are sick, the elderly, and babies because it is so gentle and easy to digest.
  • Pongal or Kichari based diet for several days offers the digestive system a rest by making the mono diet extremely simple to digest.
  • Spices like ginger, cumin, coriander, fennel, and rock salt encourage healthy agni
  • Moong dal has an astringent quality which has a natural pulling action that helps to remove toxic build up from the intestinal lining.
  • Kitchari also loosens and liquefies toxins (aama) during digestion and makes it easier to remove from the GIT.
  • The split moong has enough fiber to move toxins through the GIT and out of the body.

Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.

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