Ayurveda says the best way to reset your digestive system is to detox your gut with healthy and straightforward food. This improves the body’s overall functioning and boosts your immunity. Kitchari is Ayurveda’s very own traditional and beneficial cleansing food.
What Is Kitchari & Why We Eat It?
Kitchari is a Hindi word. It is pronounced as rich-uh-ree and means mixture, generally a combination of two grains. It is made by a combination of basmati rice and split mung beans with various aromatic spices. The addition of species is an individual choice and not a mandate. It is simple, light, and easy to digest, making it appropriate for improving gut immunity. The addition of optional vegetables to enhance the taste is okay.
Make your stomach smile by cooking Kitchari:
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup mung dal (split yellow)
- 6 cups (approx.) water
- 1/2 to 1-inch ginger root, chopped or grated
- A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
- 2 tsp. ghee
- 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- One pinch asafoetida (hing)
- A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)
- 1-3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- One whole onion (finely chopped)
1) Wash and strain rice and mung beans. Soak in water for about an hour. After that, add 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, for about 20 minutes.
2) In a separate pan, add ghee on medium heat. Do this when the mung+ rice is nearly cooked (after approximately 5-10 mins max). This depends on heat and how long you soaked the dal + rice. Make sure you don’t overcook it as it becomes very mushy.
3) Sautee cumin, fennel, curry leaves, and fresh ginger in ghee until the seeds start to pop and turn aromatic.
4) Add onion & garlic and cook until slightly golden-brown.
5) Add fried herbs to dal and rice and mix well, infusing the spices’ dal and rice mixture.
6) Add turmeric + pinch of black pepper + salt +asafoetida (hing) and toss and turn properly.
7) Gently stir to combine. Be careful not to break the rice and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
8) Garnish with fresh lemon and coriander.
9) Enjoy the goodness of this light and delightful food!
Kitchari helps in getting rid of toxins, provides nutrition, protein, and boosts gut health.
Kitchari is Ayurveda’s gift to the modern age. It is a perfect blend of tradition and modernization. However, there is a little caution to be kept in mind while consuming Kitchari or including it in your diet. Mono diet comprised of Kitchari can cause constipation if consumed daily for an extended period. This happens because of the low fiber content.