I’ve loved the Ayurvedic lifestyle for years and in particular the way that the food makes me feel. I enjoy vegetarian meals, although I gave up being vegetarian when I had children, I still eat a lot of them. Ayurvedic healing Kitchari is one of my long time favourites, there are many ways that you can make it, but this recipe I was recently introduced to whilst completing my Ayurveda Goddess Training with Katie Rose is by far the simplest, yet super delicious. The recipe I have shared below is an adaption of Shannon Gannon’s.
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.
But what is Kitchari?
Kitchari means mixture and is a one-pot meal of split lentils and rice, traditionally made with a little ghee (clarified butter) and digestive spices. Kitchari is a grounding, nourishing meal, nicked named India’s “chicken soup’. Its prescribed therapeutically during a detox or to help a person recover from illness.
It’s particularly good to help to balance digestion or support one after a bout of illness, surgery, postpartum, for the elderly or young, when digestion is weakened or course of medication. I tune into the need of my body and will often make a batch to consume for lunch over a few days or when I completing a seasonal cleanse.
The beauty of this meal is that it’s easy to digest, is super nourishing and considered a whole protein. Effectively one could live off this dish with the addition of fruits and vegetables to their diet. Although I thing I’d miss my roast lamb dinner. 😉
According to Ayurveda Kitchari aids in the clearance of toxins (ama) and strengthens digestive fire (agni). It’s also know as a sattvic meal…
The peace you feel when you sit down to meditate or eat a freshly cooked Ayurvedic meal has a word – sattva. It translates as balance, harmony and light.
Sattvic foods are balancing and harmonious, and they are plentiful.
Sattvic foods can be loosely put into categories, most fresh fruits and vegetables, most whole grains, legumes and nuts. However it’s important to note that whether a food is cooked or raw, can make a difference in whether they add sattva or rajas (stimulating) to the mind and body. A vegetable may have all of the possibility of sattva but if it is eaten raw then it may be rajas for the body and mind. Many fruits are also sattva for the body and mind when cooked lightly with ghee and spices.
Food should be fresh, not genetically modified and without chemicals in the process of growing and delivery.
How to make Ayurvedic healing Kitchari.
It’s traditionally made with aged basmati rice due to it’s digestibility as the hull as been removed, unlike brown rice. However this particular recipe suggested brown rice so I gave it a go. I found it to be quite ok for my body and it was actually really tasty. However if you have digestive issues like IBS I would suggest using basmati rice.
Today I used red split lentils, also know as dahl. Split mung bean is what’s traditionally used in Ayurveda.
Ghee plays a fundamental role in keeping agni the digestive fire awake and lubricated which also smoothes the process of digestion. Ghee is the only oil that is augmenting, meaning that it deeply nourishes all of the tissues of the body, including the joints and the reproductive organs.
The body actually absorbs and digests ghee more easily than any other oil. Reducing any excess strain associated with the process of digestion is highly beneficial for all doshas, kitchari with ghee and spices is most effective in the healing process.
Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, fennel and mustard seed can also be added, they would just need to be cooked off until aromatic and seeds start popping in a little ghee (clarified butter) however this recipe is left out the ghee and spices.
Vegetables can also be added, I like to use pumpkin, zucchini, broccoli, carrot and spinach or kale. They can be added with the rice and lentils, timing their cooking rates.
Ok give me the recipe already!!!
- 1 1/2 cups split red lentils or mung dal
- 1/2 cup brown or basmati rice
- 10 cups filtered water
- 2 cups chopped vegetables (optional)
- himalayen salt to taste
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 can coconut cream or milk for a richer flavour
- Combine all ingredients (except coconut cream/milk) in a large pot and bring to to the boil. Stirring regularly and cook until you get a porridge like consistency. Note: add vegetables dependant on cooking time and stir coconut cream through at the end.
Let me know in the comments of your give this recipe a go or tag me on instagram. I do hope you enjoy it if you do.
Love Edwina x