Kitchari is a well-known, simple Ayurvedic food used for cleansing and re-balancing the body and mind. Ayurvedic cleansing relies on eating three regular meals of kitchari a day known as a mono-diet.
The biggest obstacle to this simple cleanse is preparing your Kitchari. If you know you are not likely to get up early enough to make kitchari in the morning try the slow cooker method below, or make the night before/in batches and reheat.
Basic Kitchari recipe:
Makes 2 - 4 portions
1 cup yellow split mung beans
1/2 cup basmati rice (optional)
100ml coconut cream (optional)
2 tbsp ghee (or flax-seed oil, or coconut oil)
1 inch fresh grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp coriander (optional)
½ tsp fennel seeds (optional)
4 x cloves (optional)
Fresh coriander, lemon juice, (adding a portion of steamed green vegetables is optional)
Soak mung dal overnight and wash thoroughly. Wash the rice thoroughly. Cook the mung dal and rice until soft (mung dal approximately 30 mins, add rice for remaining 8-12 mins (or cook separately).
Prepare all the spices by adding them together in one small bowl to create your spice mix.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the fresh ginger and the spice mix into the ghee to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal and rice mixture. Add coconut water and enough filtered water to make a soft, soup-like mixture, heat through thoroughly.
Slow cooker method: Soak mung dal overnight, wash thoroughly. Wash rice thoroughly. Cook mung dal in 3½ cups water on HIGH for 2 hours, add rice, coconut water, ghee, grated ginger root and spice mix and cook on HIGH for a further 40 minutes adding more water if necessary.
Wash, prepare and cook (ideally steam) green vegetables separately.
Add fresh coriander, lemon juice, salt, pepper and green vegetables to serve.
Note: In a more traditional Kitchari recipe you’ll notice rice is always used, usually either 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup of rice to 1 cup of split mung. But it’s fine for you to vary the rice content of your Kitchari - finding what best suits you.
For example, Vata types might enjoy 1 cup of rice to every 1 cup of split mung. Kapha types on the other hand might prefer 1/4 cup rice to 1 cup split mung. Eliminate rice altogether is a good idea in the instance of excess Kapha or excess Ama - but if in doubt this is all best discussed with an Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Disclaimer: It’s important to note - both the recipe and the cleansing technique outlined here belong to the science of Ayurveda. Your decision to try any type of cleansing must be your own, I am not responsible and I recommend speaking to your GP and/or finding a registered Ayurvedic Practitioner for the appropriate guidance and support.