"The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in."
B. K. S. Iyengar
What is Kitchari?
Kitchari is a dish originating from India. It is a combination of Mung Dal Beans, Basmati Rice, spices and veggies (optional). To begin with, I don't have an extensive background in Ayurvedic cooking or the medicinal properties of these herbs. On the contrary, I do know that this dish is delicious, warming, as well as a lovely home cooked meal. If you are interested in Ayurvedic philosophy, in particular, the benefits for the constitutes ( Pitta, Vata, and Kapha) then this recipe is excellent for your arsenal.
The combination of legumes with grains helps this dish to be a complete source of protein.
The spice mixture itself can aid in a balanced body in terms of appetite and digestion. I use Banyan Botanical's Kitchari Spice Mix. Benefits of their spice blend include:
Turmeric to bolster the immune system, purify the blood, as well as promote clear and healthy skin
Mustard seeds to support a healthy digestive fire
Cumin to support both a healthy appetite and digestive process
Kitchari can be a great alternative to a juice cleanse or intermittent fasting. In spite of their benefits, these approaches aren't for me. I prefer the filling and nourishing aspects of Kitchari which help my body to feel nourished and my mind clear. John Douillard's article, "Benefits of Kitchari: The Complete Protein Superfood" could be a great resource, especially if you want to explore more of the science of a Kitchari cleanse and how it could benefit you.
Whether mid-winter, or mid-summer, Kitchari is worthy of being a staple in your kitchen. Read on to learn how to make this simple, delicious, and nourishing meal.
Yields: 4 Servings
A. 1/2 cup split Mung Dal Beans. Rinse them until the water runs clear or soak over night.
B. 1 cup Basmati Rice
C. 1-2 tablespoons Banyan Botanicals Spice Blind
D. 1-2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
E. 1 tablespoon Ginger (Diced)
F. 4-6 cups of Water or Vegetable Broth
G. Cilantro and/or Coconut Yogurt for Garnish (optional)
1. Heat ghee in pan on medium-high heat, add ginger, and stir until fragrant.
2. Sauté Kitchari spice blend until fragrant (30-60 seconds).
3. Add Mung Dal Beans and Rice. Stir until coated with spices.
4. Add 4 cups of water (or vegetable broth), stir, and bring to boil on high heat. Then drop temperature to medium-low and allow mixture to simmer ~30-45 minutes. Add more water if the mixture is too dry.
5. You can add your veggies of choice about half-way through the cooking process. I recommend zucchini, carrots, or peas.
6. Serve hot and enjoy on its on or with a scoop of coconut yogurt and cilantro for garnish.