Digestive reset. K I T C H A R I
Nutritious, tasty, easily digested, blend of lentils and grain. Typically Mung dhal, and basmati rice.
1) Rinse & soak beans or lentils with seaweed and bay if using. I like to let mine soak overnight, or while I am prepping everything else, dancing to music, and general horsing around. Rinse rice separately.
2) Measure and prep all ingredients. Once you get going everything gets added in really fast, if you still have chopping and measuring to do the spices may burn.
⁃ Measure all seeds, and put in a small dish together.
⁃ Mince all fresh spices/herbs and put those in a small dish together
⁃ Measure all spices that you are using in powdered form, and add those together.
⁃ Measure and set aside everything else to make your Kitchari your own.
3) Warm oil or ghee in a large pot. I like to use my deep sided cast iron for added yummy. Once the oil is warm.. not smoking.. Add seeds and toast, stirring until fragrant 30-60 seconds.
4) Add fresh spices like ginger, garlic, or fresh turmeric if you are lucky enough to have some on hand. Stir until blended with seeds and it starts to soften, become fragrant, or brighten in color. About 1 minute.
5) Add powdered spices. Stir until everything is coated and fragrant. 10-20 seconds
6) Strain and rinse lentils and rice. Add dhal, rice, dried fruit, some nuts etc. and stir until well mixed and lightly toasted.
7) Add water. Bring to a boil 5 minutes.
8) Lower to a simmer and cover. Stir occassionally. 35-40 minutes or until desired texture is reached. Be sure to make sure it does not burn to the bottom. Add water to adjust consistency. Some prefer a crunchy dhal while others prefer a soft well cooked kitchari. You will also find your desired consistency. Adjust with water for a dryer or soupier style.
9) Garnish and serve.
In India households have their own recipes, there really is no limit to how you can customize. The key is to make sure you have lots of spices, a grain, and a bean.
Mono-fasting is a great way for an otherwise healthy person to support a mild impairment to the Agni. An example of a mono-fast is to eat Kitchari for all of your meals, plus bone broths, herbal teas, and you can even add lightly steamed veggies to your dish one meal a day!
This is a great way to cleanse and rejuvenate the digestive tract after vacation, an illness, or recent food poisoning. This is especially helpful after a period of gratuitous eating such as can occur around the holidays. It is a wonderful practice to cleanse and detox a few times a year. Depending on your constitution it is good to get into the habit of fasting or cleansing around the solstices and equinoxes. Choose what is most appropriate for your body, during the appropriate seasons. A kitchari fast can be observed around both spring and autumn equinoxes, and especially around the winter solstice. It is not well advised during the summer solstice, however there are always exceptions. Ask your Ayurvedic councilor for advice on what is best for you.
One should fast just enough to stimulate Agni, burn ama, and clear the channels. Prolonged fasting is not recommended in Ayurveda and may result in damage to one’s health.
1 Cup Mung beans, or lentils of choice, red or yellow
2 bay leaves
1 sheet of kumbu, or seaweed of choice.
1/2 – 1 Cup grain. Basmati Rice or Quinoa
2 TBS Ghee or sunflower oil for hot pitta
You can use seeds or half the amount in powder. OR about 1 thumbs worth fresh.
Multi dosha? Use a blend of the two recipes! Multi-dosha household? Make it plain and personalize with your condiments!