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In the Bender Kitchen: “Healthy hug in a bowl”

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Yoga instructor and life activation coach Haley Sharack stopped by the Bender Kitchen to share her recipe for a “healthy hug in bowl” — a seasonal Kitchari recipe that’s a nutrient dense, plant-based dish for comfort and cleansing. Sharack says this meal is simple, tasty and healing for the whole family.

Sharack explained that kitchari comes from an ancient method for holistic health and vitality called ayurveda, or “the science of life.” The effectiveness of using kitchari as a cleanse has been proven over the course of thousands of years. Sharack says the disk is like a hug in a bowl, because a simple, nourishing meal like Kitchari has the power to reflect love in every way, from sourcing the ingredients, to the history, to the self care, to sharing and serving others, and just taking the time to be with yourself and the people you love.



When you are able to, choose organic, pesticide-free ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice or quinoa
  • 1 cup of mung dal (yellow split mung beans)
  • 2 cups or so chopped vegetables of choice
  • Optional ½ cup unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 2 tbsp virgin organic coconut oil (option for “ghee” which is clarified butter or organic sesame oil)
  • SPICES: Roughly 3 teaspoons of premade kitchari spice mix or 1 tsp each (Whatever you can get a hold of, but don’t worry if you don’t have it all):


    • Fresh ginger, fresh turmeric
    • Whole cumin seeds, ground cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek
    • Dried turmeric, black/brown mustard seeds, asafoetida
  • Mineral salt to taste
  • GARNISH: Fresh cilantro, herbs, lime, drizzle of coconut oil/organic ghee (clarified butter)/sesame oil. Optional: pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut shreds, homemade pumpkin seed herb pesto, avocado, lightly steamed or roasted veggies


To aid in digestion (aka, help prevent gas, etc.) wash rice/quinoa of choice and mung dal and let them soak in water overnight.


  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, warm the coconut oil. Add the spice mixture and saute for one to two minutes.
  2. Add the rice and mung beans and continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Then add 6-8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add coconut if using. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium/low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. While beans and rice are cooking, chop your veggies. Add harder vegetables (like carrots, etc) about 20 minutes in and continue cooking. Add softer or leafy veggies a few minutes before the dish is done. Add more water if needed. Consistency should be like stew, not like soup.
  4. Prepare your garnishes while the kitchari finishes cooking.
  5. Serve in a bowl and add garnishing of choices on top!

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