Nourishing, nutritious, & nonetheless a highly revered dish in Ayurveda. Kitchari is an easily digestible meal which provides not only a cleansing and detoxifying effect but nourishment and protein to get the full effects. Kitchari, is a mono-diet dish that allows an individual to re-set and re-establish their digestive system and their intestinal tract. Digesting, absorbing, and assimilating the nutrients we take in are crucial to our health and well being. In Ayurveda it's believed that improper digestion and elimination of food toxins begin to build up and lead to disease. This satisfying and nourishing meal brings in all that we need and helps us to clean out what we don't.
Yellow Split mung beans are packed with proteins and carbohydrates which makes this dish a complete protein package. Proteins help us stabilize our blood sugar which then ultimately stabilizes our mood. Good moods will thank you. Basmati rice has a low hypoglycemic index and is used quite frequently in Ayurvedic cooking.
The Basics of a good Kitchari Recipe:
2 cups yellow split mung dal beans
1 cup white basmati rice
2 tablespoons ghee (use less if you want a more cleansing effect)
2 teaspoons (cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, turmeric powder)
1 teaspoon (cumin power, coriander powder, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds)
3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons ginger root
2-5 cups chopped seasonal vegetables
1 cup chopped cilantro
Clean both the split mung dal and rice by rinsing thoroughly and until the water runs clean. Melt the ghee in your pot and add in ALL of the seeds. Wait until the mustard seeds pop before adding in the powdered spices and bay leaves. Let the combination of these herbs and spices simmer together. Stir in the rice and beans and mix until coated. Add 8 cups of water followed by the bay leaves, cardamom pods, and chopped vegetables. Bring this to a boil and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook until dahl and rice become soft which may occur in 30-45 minutes. This delicious dish may be topped with chopped cilantro.
Ayurvedic kitchari is both tridoshic and balancing to all three doshas. Vegetable variations will occur depending on the season you are in. Specific doshic type variations are also good to keep in mind. Such as:
1 tablespoon or less of ghee
Cayenne pepper or black pepper can be added
Quinoa or millet could be substituted for the rice
Best veggies are celery, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leafy greens, and asparagus.
Eliminate black pepper and mustard seeds, or half the quantity
Coconut oil is great to use
Best veggies are leafy greens, zucchini, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli.
Double the ghee or oil used
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Chopped ginger added while cooking spices
Quinoa could be used instead of rice (double the amount of rice or quinoa)
Best veggies are carrots, zucchini, peas, sweet potatoes, asparagus.
Enjoy this savory and satisfying dish to bring more health & harmony from within.