I LOVE this dish… It truly is healing. This beautiful Ayurvedic recipe gives your digestive tract a break and helps heal your intestines. I first tried this recipe on a yoga retreat. My beautiful step-mother-in-law created it for dinner one evening and I was hooked! I LOVED how delicious and nurturing the dish felt. The smell, texture, and brightness of the spices lures any human, who is pulled to healing, right in.
“The Ayurvedic healing system uses the 3,000 year old philosophy that healing is a full body experience where the mind and the body come together in equal partnership. The philosophies of Ayurvedic medicine teach us that when the mind, body, and spirit are properly aligned, balance comes into our life and restores health to our bodily systems. Maui Healing Retreat utilizes a component of Ayurvedic healing known as kitchari to restore proper nourishment back into the body for a vibrant and balanced life.
Kitchari cleansing (kitch-a-ree) is a healing soup that is gently formulated with mung beans and rice along with other ingredients to restore proper nutrition back into the body. The soup itself is meant to calm the intestinal track and relight the ‘angi,’ or fire, in the belly. In Eastern Ayurvedic teachings, proper health and nutrition begin in the digestive tract. Kitchari cleansing involves a mono-diet that is easy for the body to break down and process with each day targeting a specific organ.” (Source)
There are several variations to a basic kitcheri recipe and the one below is basic, easy to start with, and balancing to all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). (Learn more about the Doshas here)
You will find that the ingredients are readily available at most health food and East Indian grocery stores. Also, the spices can be sourced online. If you don’t wish to source every ingredient, another option is the Banyan Botanicals, they provide a Kitchari Spice Mix all put together. You can also find the spice mix on Amazon and the organic Mung Dal.
Let’s do this:
- 2-3 TBS ghee (clarified butter) or organic virgin coconut oil
- ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- Onions, garlic and carrots are a nice optional additions
- 1 small pinch of asafoetida (“hing”) powder (Link to buy)
- ½ cup split yellow mung dal, rinsed well, soaked overnight and drained. (It is best to use mung dal with the hulls still on
- if you tend toward constipation).
- 1 tsp rock salt (celtic sea salt)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed well and drained.
- 4 ½ cups water or vegetable stock (if using a pressure cooker or about 6 cups if using a regular pot)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 4-5 thin slices of fresh ginger root
Using either a pressure cooker (much faster) or a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee on medium heat. Ghee burns easily, so be careful. Sauté the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the ghee until the seeds pop. Add onion and sauté, followed by garlic and carrots. Then add the drained mung dal, asafoetida powder, turmeric and salt. Stir until the mix almost starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Then add the rice, water, cumin powder, coriander powder and ginger. Stir well, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pressure cooker or pot.
If you are using a pressure cooker, fasten the lid on and turn the heat to high, let full pressure build up. Once the pressure has built up, turn the heat low and let cook five minutes. Then take the cooker off the heat and let it sit until there is no more pressure and you can safely open the lid.
If you’re using a regular pot, cover and bring it to a boil on high heat. Then turn the heat down and let it simmer until both the rice and dahl are mushy.
You may have to experiment with how much water you use to find a consistency that you like. (The more water, the thinner the consistency). A thinner consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak. You will notice that kitcheri will thicken when it cools and you may need more water than you originally thought.
In order to provide the best quality of energy to your body, Kitcheri should be made the day that you wish to eat it and served hot.
- Fresh cilantro
- Freshly grated ginger root
- Fresh spinach
- Drizzled olive oil
Garnishes will enhance the dish and bring more nourishment to your body.
Have you made Kitchari before? Please share!
Live Hippily… and nourish those intestines!!!