Not A Silver Bullet: Kitchari

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?””

Seneca the Younger


Last night, I was watching an interview with Tim Ferris on Marie TV last night and he touched on this quote and explained how he (and several other successful people he knows) puts it into practice.


I’ve seen fear play out in my own life in disempowering ways: choosing jobs or career paths I’m not passionate about, staying in relationships (personal or professional) for longer than I know is healthy, or getting 60% immersed in a project instead of going all in.


Fear is most paralyzing when we don’t name the actual outcome that we fear. When we just say “I’m afraid” instead of actually walking through the worst case scenario and seeing what would happen.


With my growing collection of adaptogens, vitamins, powders, and supplements, I decided it was time to take a few days to go back to the roots of what Ayurveda is all about – simple, wholesome food and routines. I’m embarking on a day of eating kitchari (a simple meal of rice, lentils, spices, and veggies) to remember that I can survive without ashwagandha, maca, and dark chocolate. Health can wear simple clothing, and contentment can too.


Here’s the kitchari recipe I’m following today:

Not A Silver Bullet: Kitchari
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4 portions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • pinch asafoetedia (hing)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 cups mung beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1 large chopped zucchini
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 2 large handfuls spinach leaves
  • water
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, mustard seed, and fenugreek, stirring.
  3. Let simmer for about 1 minute (until garlic is *starting* to brown, but is not burnt).
  4. Add beans, rice, asafoetedia, zucchini, carrots, and water to cover.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice and beans have softened, adding water throughout the cooking process if needed.
  6. Stir in spinach and salt to taste.
  7. Drizzle a little more olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice if you desire.

*This is a simple recipe that you can play with.

Pittas: use coconut oil instead of olive oil, remove the garlic, and add fennel seeds.

Kaphas: you can use more cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts and broccoli

Vatas: add a little extra oil or almond yogurt if you need some extra sustenance.


  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig


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samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

8 Responses to “Not A Silver Bullet: Kitchari”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! It looks delicious and so cleansing on Instagram – but would you please clarify which meal it’s supposed to be (lunch and/or dinner), given its size? Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi Blue, great question! You can eat this for lunch or dinner! I do either 😀 I’ll do a slightly larger portion for lunch, but in general one big bowl’s worth is a good serving size. Enjoy!

  2. Amanda Jane

    I wanted to look up your kitchari recipe because your photos have been so stunning! And thrilled to see your Seneca quote here – I’ve been reading the Tao of Seneca every morning the past month or so (: Keep it up, Sam!

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