Food of the Gods- Kitchari
Well, growing up I despised kitchari (kichiri/kichadee) because I used to think it was bland food for sick people until I discovered the magic of Ayurvedic cooking and how to leverage the power of herbs and spices. Since then kitchiri has been my go-to food especially in times my body is overworked, under nourished, stressed or my immunity is low.
Kitchari is golden goodness known for it's powerful healing abilities, this nourishing recipe has been a staple in Ayurvedic cooking for centuries. With the right healing herbs, spices and ghee for your constitution it is deeply restorative for the digestive system because it is easily digested, it nourishes the body on all levels, builds strength by allowing the digestive fire to rekindle and burn away excess ama (toxic waste).
An Ayurvedic cleanse has many benefits for the mind, body and spirit including:
- Improved digestion resulting in better function of metabolic system
- Supports regular and healthy elimination
- Nourishes all tissues
- Clarity of mind resulting in improved sleep, sustained energy, enthusiasm, radiant skin and better meditations
- Promotes overall health and wellbeing
"In Ayurveda, things that we ingest are divided into three categories:
Poison is defined as anything that hinders digestion. Medicine is considered anything that we ingest that aids the digestive process. Neutral is anything we ingest that gives support and nourishment without either aiding or hindering the digestive process.
Kitchari is unique because it falls under both the neutral and medicinal categories. It not only provides nourishment for the body, but, due to its spice combination, also benefits digestion. This makes kitchari an ideal food of choice during times of stress on the body, such as during an illness, periods of overwork, or change of seasons. It is also an especially good food to use while on a mono-diet as part of an internal cleansing regime. In order to provide the best quality of energy to your body, kitchari should be made the day that you wish to eat it and served hot." - Banyan Botanicals
Notes about cleansing:
Although this monodiet is a safe and gentle way to detox the body it is important to understand Ayurvedic cleansing is not recommended during times of sickness, weakness, debilitation, during menstruation,for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Kitchari is low in fibre therefore can cause constipation if taken for long periods of time therefore it is important to supplement your cleanse with plenty of hot/warm water, herbal tea, Ayurvedic healing teas and triphala (best for pitta/kapha) or alma (best for pitta/vata) at bedtime.
Soak your mung daal and rice for a minimum of 4 hours, this cuts down your cooking time, tenderizes the grains, reduces vata making them easier to digest.
Below is a recipe that I shared during Navratri for fasting, for regular cleansing I would use organic white basmati/ jasmine rice rather than millet but all other ingredients are the same. I usually make mine with organic yams but you can explore the vegetables to suit your constitution and are in season when you are making this recipe. You can also make this on the stove top without a pressure cooker, especially if you have pre-soaked the rice & daal.
Be Well xo