Chances are you over did it during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve at which time you resolved to eat better, exercise more, get your finances in order, volunteer, and save the world. All of which are amazing, and I wish you all the will power in the world to sustain you on your journey. But, let’s start with something digestible (pun intended).
I’m not a fan of starvation cleanses or all-or-nothing detox regimens, and I don’t believe that every ‘cleanse’ or ‘diet’ is one size fits all. If you follow an Ayurvedic system, and you’re a Vata like me, you know that a fasting cleanse/detox is not for you. Particularly juice cleanses. Now, I love fresh juice more than anyone, but what I’ve learned both intuitively and through study is that regular raw juice disrupts my system with some nasty side effects.
There can, in fact, be too much of even a ‘GOOD’ thing. Every food has the ability to be medicine or poison to the person ingesting it. There are literally dozens of cleanses out there, but I’m going to stick with a basic clean Indian dish integrated into a diet of whole, clean food.
Kitchari also spelled a grillion different ways is a staple in the Panchakarma diet. It’s the ‘chicken noodle soup’ comfort food of India. Panchakarma means five actions, and it’s a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing. It’s a way of reversing the effects of daily living. Kitchari is balancing to all doshas (Kapha, Pitta and Vata), and it’s one of the most balanced and detoxifying foods.
Kitchari is a complete protein and incredibly easy to digest. The main ingredients are rice and mung beans or lentils and the spices are measured precisely to cleanse and balance the system without being overwhelming. You may choose to add seasonal vegetables, but a bland Kitchari may be where you want to start if you’re looking to reset your digestive system.
My friend Amita (with whom I went through yoga teacher training) provided this recipe. It’s fulfilling, delicious, and I can tell you first hand my body feels so much better after this dietary reboot.
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 cup moong dal (split green gram)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp chopped ginger
- 3 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- salt to taste
- Clean, wash the rice and moong dal together and soak in enough water for an hour.
- Drain and keep aside.
- Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cloves and cumin seeds.
- When the seeds crackle, add the ginger and garlic sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the rice, moong dal, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, and 5 cups of water and mix well.
- Cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles or till cooked.
Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a deep pot and boil until the water is absorbed and the flavors have merged.
Enjoy and may your body thank you.
Special thanks to my friend, Amita for the recipe. ❤
– Your Charmed Yogi
I just got a rice cooker…..think I could adjust using that without a pressure cooker?
I actually don’t use a pressure cooker, I boil it down using a regular pot that way the flavors merge.
Funny–a friend just sent me some recipes for kitchari dishes. I had never heard of this before and now, twice in one day! Sounds like I know what I’ll be eating this weekend!
It’s delish. Seriously, it’s great anytime you’re feeling out of sorts gastrointestinally or otherwise. Enjoy!!
My friend fixed his own psoriatic arthritis with a kitchari cleanse. I love it. Actually, today I had this strange and fancy doughnut, and knew that my stomach would not be happy later, even subtly. So I started mixing spices and boiling rice and garlic, and now I have something rather similar except without the split peas, ginger, and cloves. I love so many variations of this recipe! I’ve had it in the past with mung beans, which are so delicious but are more expensive than they used to be, it seems. I’m excited to get back into the kitchari routine 🙂 It always feels grounding and nourishing to me.
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