Healing Kitchari Recipe

I recently attended a 5 day Snoga Mountain Retreat.

You may be wondering what is Snoga? 

Snoga is a fusion of snow and yoga. It’s a brilliant concept for those who love yoga and snow sports in the Victorian high country.

The Snoga mountain retreat is held in the spectacular mountains of Victoria’s Falls Creek Alpine Resort.

The daily program starts with a revitalising morning yoga session, and soothing Shavasana. With the retreat I attended the emphasis was yin yoga.

As you may know yin yoga poses are held a little longer, and are designed to gently free up the connective tissue around the joints, particularly the knees, hips, and spine. It’s an ideal yoga style to get you ready for a day out on the mountains.

Soon after a healthy, and warming breakfast is served to get everyone ready for a day of adventure.

The healing Kitchari served at breakfast is worth a special mention. I’m now a fan of this nourishing Ayervedic dish.

What is Kitchari?

Kitchari, pronounced kich-ah-ree, is a restorative Ayurvedic dish that is often consumed when fasting, or is the main dish served during a Kitchari cleanse. Kitchari features a mix of Basmati rice and Chana Dahl yellow split peas which are cooked up like a porridge. It’s nourishing, and extremely easy to digest.

Janette Lawson, from Trackers Mountain Lodge who runs the Snoga mountain retreats, shared with me her healing Kitchari recipe. I’m now sharing it with you!

Healing Kitchari Recipe


2 cups organic Chana Dahl yellow split peas.
1 cup organic Basmati rice – rinsed twice.
2-4 cups washed vegetables, evenly chopped into small chunks (organic if possible).
2 chopped tomatoes (organic if possible).
Vegetable stock.
2 tablespoons tomato paste.
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger.
1 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric.
1 teaspoon each of fresh coriander seeds, yellow and black mustard seeds.
½ teaspoon each ground cumin, cardamom, coriander powder, and turmeric powder.
Sea salt.

Creating the Magic

The day before: Soak 2 cups organic Chana Dahl yellow split peas overnight in filtered water with 1/2 teaspoon of good quality sea salt. Make sure you cover the Chana Dahl with a large volume of water as these chickpeas swell up considerably. When you are ready to cook, drain the Chana Dahl and discard the water. Then rinse twice under running water.

The next day you are ready to start cooking…

Fry the grated turmeric and ginger in ghee, or your preferred cooking oil.

Add spice seeds, and fry until they pop. Then add ground spices, stirring until aromatic.

Stir the Chana Dahl into the spices, coating well for a minute or two.

Add chopped tomatoes, and tomato paste. Continue to stir over heat until well mixed.

Add vegetable stock until you get a porridge like consistency. Cook at medium heat for 25 minutes.

Add rice and vegetables, stirring them in well. Cover and cook for about 10–15 minutes more, or until all the ingredients are tender. Salt to taste. Add filtered water if too thick.

When serving garnish with sea salt, chilli flakes, fresh coriander, fresh ginger, or lemon juice. Add plain yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, or coconut milk if desired.

NOTE: The specialty Chana Dahl required for this healing Kitchari recipe can be found at health food stores, and Indian speciality grocers.

Like to Know More About the Snoga Mountain Retreats?

Contact Trackers Mountain Lodge at Falls Creek, Victoria.

You can also read my Snoga retreat review on the Nature & Health blog. My article is titled: ‘I tried…snoga!’

Image credit Charlie Brown. Featured Snogis – Kate Taylor and Donna Buchanan, from The Yoga Vine studio, Perth.

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