How to Make a Cleansing Traditional Kitchari
Kitchari, or khichdi, is a traditional Ayurvedic dish used in mono-diet fasting and cleanses like Panchakarma. It is known as a “perfect meal” as it contains carbohydrates, fats and whole proteins and helps to balance the constitution and promotes digestive fire, known as agni in Ayurveda. Kitchari is made by cooking rice and yellow moong dhal (split mung beans) together with warming and flavourful spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger, and black pepper. You can also add vegetables for extra substance.
½ Cup basmati rice - Basmati is the traditional option, but you can substitute it with brown or jasmine rice or quinoa.
- ½ Cup Split mung beans - You can also use split peas or lentils; however, I recommend mung beans for the best results.
- Vegetables - Beans, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, broccoli, and any leafy greens work well.
- 4-6 Cups Water - Replace with vegetable broth for extra flavour.
- 1 TBS Ghee - Use coconut or avocado oil for vegans.
- 1 TBS Turmeric
- 1TSP Each of coriander, mustard seeds and cumin (seeds or ground)
- ½ TSP Fresh Ginger
- 1 TSP Sea salt
- ¼ TSP Pepper
Soak the Rice and Mung Beans
Combine the rice and mung beans in a bowl along with enough cold water to cover them and allow them to soak for 15-20 minutes. If you have the time, soaking for an hour or more will aid in the cooking process and you can even soak the mung beans overnight. Use a fine-mesh strainer to drain the liquid and then rinse the mixture until the water runs clear.
- Warm the Spices in Oil
Use a medium pot on low-medium heat. First place your mustard and cumin seeds in the dry pot to warm them (mustard seeds should crack and cumin brown and become fragrant) but be careful not to burn them. Then add your ghee or oil and other spices, including ginger.
- Add the Remaining Ingredients
Add the rice and split mung bean mixture. Pour the water in and add your salt (only add salt at the end if you’re using lentils) and pepper.
Increase the temperature to medium-high to bring the mixture to a slight boil. As soon as it starts bubbling, turn it down to medium-low and let it simmer gently without a lid for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally until it becomes soft, creamy, and porridge-like.
Taste the kitchari and add seasoning if needed so t’s taster when you eat it while you bet online. Make sure the mixture is cooked through before removing it from heat. If it gets very thick, add some water, though not too much so that it becomes very runny.
Add some garnish such as freshly chopped cilantro and serve immediately with a drizzle of ghee, or allow it to cool before storing in an airtight container. Kitchari can be kept for 2-3 days in the fridge, or up to 2 months in the freezer. If frozen, allow it to thaw before reheating. As a side, make a fresh tomato and onion salad, or some homemade no-knead bread.
And that's it! Enjoy a wonderfully flavourful, nourishing, and digestive cleansing meal.