Kitchari is an Ayurveda staple healing dish. Kitchari pacifies all three doshas so it can be recommended to everyone. Kitchari is very cleansing. It helps bring toxicity "ama" or undigested food to the center of the gut to be eliminated. Kitchari is an ideal option for doing a 3 day cleanse while still keeping yourself full and nourished. This can be more beneficial for ones who cannot tolerate fasts or juice cleanses. For some who are more Vata prone, these type of fasts can lead to more internal drying and anxiety.
As always feel free to customize the recipe. The basic ingredients are 1/2 basmati rice and 1/2 mung dal. Make sure to soak the mixture the night before in water. This will help it to cook faster and be more easy to digest. You want the kitchari to have a mushy, stew like consistency. The spices are beneficial in assisting the body to properly digest and eliminate. They are antibacterial and antimicrobial which help the body cleanse and detoxify toxins. Veggies are optional with some ideas listed below.
1 tbsp Ghee
2 1/2 cups Water (add more if needed)
1/2 cup Basmati Rice
1/2 cup Yellow Split or Whole Green Mung Dal Beans
Squeeze of Lemon or Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 Pinch of Hing
1/2 tsp of Fresh Grated Ginger Root
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
Pinch Black Pepper
Optional Veggie Choices
1 Chopped Sm. Chopped Onion
2 Chopped Carrots
Handful Fresh Spinach or Kale
2 Fresh Tomatoes Chopped or Half Can Diced Tomatoes
Garnish with Cilantro or Parsley
1. It is best to soak the rice and mung dal the night before in water. This helps the food become easier to digest and reduce cooking time. Then rinse and drain.
2. Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin, fennel, coriander and mustard seeds to the oil. Simmer a few minutes until the spices become fragrant. Add the rest of the spice ingredients to the oil; turmeric, hing and ginger. Continue to simmer in the oil for two more minutes.
3. Add the basmati rice and mung dal to the pan. Stir a few minutes to blend in with the spices.
4. Pour 2 cups of water into the saucepan. If the kitchari has not been soaked long enough you may need to add another 1/2 cup or more of water to reach desired consistency. Bring to a boil then lower to medium-low heat.
5. If using veggies, toss in the ones that take longer after the first15 minutes of cooking. This would include veggies like broccoli, carrots and onions. Add the remaining softer produce like spinach and tomatoes
the last 10 minutes of cooking.
6. Cover and cook until tender for 30-45 minutes. It may take longer or need more water depending on whether or not the mixture has been soaked. You want the kitchari to reach a more mushy, soft, stew like consistency.
7. Add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.