Kitchari is a simple, one-pot mung-bean, rice and vegetable (optional) stew, that can be thought of as Ayurveda's version of 'chicken soup' for the way in which in brings a Brahmana, or building and supporting, quality to whomever eats it and is often prescribed in cases of ill health and as part of a Panchakarma regimen. And although Kitchari imparts such nourishing medicinal benefits, when eaten as a mono-diet for a period of several days in a row, Kitchari thus brings a Langhana–a scraping and reducing quality–to the body and mind.
In this way, Kitchari is a truly healing dish, due to the way it can both build and sustain as well as lighten and cleanse, depending on the way in which it is eaten. Kitchari is suitable for those who are attempting to recover from depletion and wasting, as well as for those who are experiencing quite the opposite–excess Ama (waste)–and for those who find themselves anywhere in between.
The recipe for Kitchari can also be adapted to suit the needs of the specific human being who will be taking it as their medicine. By looking at the Doshic profile of the person, we can determine how best to modify the Kitchari so that they receive exactly what they need to return to a state of harmony, of biological homeostasis and energetic equilibrium.
So, let's begin by looking at the Kitchari Recipe in itself!
This recipe requires split mung beans and organic basmati rice, as well as organic, Dosha-specific spices. These are conveniently available in our apothecary in our 3 or 7-day Kitchari Kits!
For the utmost digestibility, we recommend to soak the mung beans and rice in enough water to cover them, and leave them to sit overnight. Omit all vegetables if your digestion is extremely weak.
BASIC KITCHARI RECIPE
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 3-4)
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup mung dhal
5 cups (approx.) water
1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated
A bit of himalayan salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
2 tsp. ghee or oil (Dosha-specific oil recommendations below)
2 tsp of one of our Spice Mixes
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)
Himalayan pink salt to taste
Wash rice and dhal separately in at least 2 changes of water. Add the 5 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.
While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dhal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the spice mix in the ghee or oil until they become gently fragrant. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the himalayan salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
coconut yogourt (best for Vata + Pitta)
Now, we move on to the modifications!
If you are unfamiliar with your current Doshic imbalance, or Vikruti as it's known in Sanskrit, we recommend that you fill out our Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz with a focus on overall patterns you are experiencing in your body and life NOW. This will give you a general idea of which Dosha(s) might be appearing in excess in your constitution, and will thus require attention. However, for a personalized and professional insight into both your Prakruti (original constitution), Vikruti and beyond, we highly recommend that you book a one-on-one Ayurvedic Consultation with Tiffany! This session(s) will give you the confidence you need to feel at ease as you venture into your Kitchari Cleanse and Ayurvedic healing journey.
- add more water (up to 16 cups) to make the kitchari soupier and therefore easier to digest
- increase the rice to bean ratio
- use Vata Spice Mix
extra spicing: add mustard seeds, hing (asafoetida), 3-4 cloves or ajwain (these can be hard to find, but worth it!)
- add 2 tbsp or more of coconut milk as you cook
- use organic sesame seed oil or ghee
vegetables: pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach (cooked), kale collard greens, zucchini
toppings: dill, cilantro, basil, coconut yogourt, sesame seeds
- cook well
- equal parts rice to beans
- use Pitta Spice Mix
extra spicing: fennel seeds
- use coconut oil, sunflower, ghee or olive oil
vegetables: onions (cooked), peas, peppers (sweet), radishes, zucchini
toppings: parsley, mint, fresh basil, lime
- increase bean to rice ratio
- use Kapha Spice Mix
extra spicing: dill, fennel, ginger, cayenne, cardamom
- use almond oil, olive, or sunflower oil
vegetables: bitter leafy greens (arugula, dandelion), okra, onions, peppers (sweet + hot), broccoli, cabbage, asparagus
toppings: parsley, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice
- cook until you reach drier, more cooked-down consistency
If you'd like to take a deep dive into the process of how you can design and land into your own Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse, we suggest signing up for our upcoming KIND CLEANSE 1-DAY WORKSHOP with Lisa, on June 19th, 2021, where the focus will be on cleansing for Pitta season.
Please share this article with anyone who could benefit from Ayurvedic cleansing!