It’s been too long, folks. I DO miss writing on the blog, but I have been so busy that I just could not find the time.
I try to enjoy the entire weekend with my husband and our little one. This is new territory for me- allowing myself to relax and not feel guilty about “not being productive”; but I am doing my best. Over the weekdays, I am studying at three different places while trying to earn some pocket money here and there, which, apparently, takes a lot of time:)
That said, I kind of had to share this recipe with you sooner than later. I posted this picture on Instagram the other day, and many of you messaged me to ask for the recipe. It is probably one of my favourite foods ever, and I will tell you why.
What is Kitchari and why it’s good for you
Kitchari cleanses where you eat kitchari for breakfast, lunch and dinner, are common in Ayurvedic medicine and wellness practices. The food you eat during this type of cleanse is filling, nutritious, and tridoshic, meaning, it is beneficial regardless of your body constitution, balancing your body’s three many sources of energy. It is believed that the easily digestible quality of this meal will help your body spend its energy on eliminating toxins (ama) instead.
The combination of rice and mung dal provides all the amino acids needed to form a complete protein. The protein content of this dish supports stable blood sugar levels so that energy and mental clarity are balanced during the cleansing process. What is more, the spices used in the dish tend to encourage agni, the digestive fire, and helps the metabolism. You can use various spices to tailor the dish to your dosha, your constitution type, but generally, we use ginger, cumin, coriander, fennel, and salt.
I respect traditional wisdom, and usually experiment with what they teach, especially when there is no harm/side effect to try! Besides, back home, we have something similar: We make green lentils with rice, cooked well with olive oil, sometimes with a little bit of lemon juice. In our case, the rice is Turkish rice, instead of basmati. We don’t use as much liquid to get the rice as “mushy”. For that reason, since kitchari is really well cooked, it will be much easier on the digestive system.
Panchakarma, the traditional Ayurvedic cleanse completed under the care of trained practitioners take a minimum of 7 days, all the way to 21 days. These cleanses are done at a retreat center where meals are cooked for you and you receive specialized body work to facilitate the detoxification process. In my humble home-based-version, I try to listen to my body. I might do a day-long kitchari cleanse every week, with lots of CCF Tea (cumin, coriander, fennel), include detoxifying yoga flows and stretches*and meditation, and try to remember to eat mindfully. Basically, I follow my flexible rules which I shared in this detox article before. I might use a blend to make it more convenient to cook, or make everything from scratch. If you are not vegan, and you are new to this type of cooking, you might look into this bundle , or this one, without the extra supplement. Traditionally, we use white rice because it is easier to digest, but I sometimes use quinoa because it has more protein and more fiber than white rice. I might eat it with coconut yogurt, or with steamed greens like spinach or kale- if I don’t eat my green veggies my body craves extra fiber! If you are used to sweet breakfasts, you might add date pieces to it, raisins- or you might modify the cleanse to make oatmeal with cinnamon and cardamom.
Once you get the feel of this cleanse, you will have fun experimenting! Any questions? Comment below!
Now, with no further ado:
How to make kitchari
The portions of this recipe are for about a day *for me*. Try this, and adjust next time, according to your preferences and appetite. I like my meals fresh, if at all possible, so I would cook another batch the following day. Again, feel free to adjust to your own life.
A note on spices: Please do taste and experiment. As I said above, you can make this dish your own. Feel free to try fennel in it, cardamom, for example.
- 1 cups basmati rice
- 1 cup moong dal (yellow split mung beans)
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 tbsp oil (if not vegan, you can use ghee. I use coconut oil, but sesame is fine, too).
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp Yoursuper Golden Mellow Mix (you can use ground turmeric instead but I like this blend because of the added ingredients)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp salt (I use pink himalayan salt, mostly because we like the taste).
- Black pepper to taste.
In a medium bowl, combine the rice and moong dal. Pour enough water to cover the mixture and soak overnight.In the morning, pour the mixture into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until it runs clear.
Warm the oil on medium-low heat in a medium pot. Carefully add the cumin seeds and let them cook for about a minute. Add the ginger and the Golden Mellow Mix (or ground turmeric).
Add the rice and dal mixture into the pot. Season with Himalayan salt and black pepper. Stir and add the 4 cups of water.
Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to simmer. This should take around 30 minutes, you might stir once or twice until you get a porridge-like consistency.
Taste the kitchari to make sure the texture is soft. If not, you may need to let it cook a little longer on low heat. Turn off the heat and adjust the seasoning, and stir again. Wait until it cools down a bit before serving. Welcome to garnish with cilantro or parsley.
* Type SMT25 at checkout at Alo Moves to get 25% off annual membership.
*I had a chat with Kathy from Yoursuper. We talked about Ayurveda, superfoods, a plant-based diet with kids, and more- check it out!
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Editor’s note: The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programme.
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