Kitchari is a staple meal in Ayurveda because it’s super easy to digest. It’s a simple dish made with basmati rice and mung beans, with the addition of healing spices to detox and awake the digestive fire. The best way to give your body a break without feeling hungry or deprived.
From time to time, it’s a good idea to give our body a little rest and do a seasonal detox. I usually do it for two or three days, both in spring and fall, and I always feel amazing after it.
However, a detox in Ayurveda has nothing to do with calorie restriction, green juices, or salads. Instead, it consists of a mono-diet of kitchari (also spelt khichdi).
This dish is a staple meal in the Ayurvedic kitchen because it's very easy to digest, and balances all three doshas. It allows our body to detoxify and go back to balance while providing us with all the essential nutrients that we need.
Kitchari is made of moong beans (or lentils, sometimes too) and basmati rice cooked with some basic spices such as cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and turmeric.
It has a creamy, risotto-like texture, and it’s so delicious that I always go for seconds! I also like to add some cooked veggies on the side, to make it even more nutritious.
I paired my kitchari with some roasted carrots, spinach, Nigella seeds, cilantro, and lime juice. This combination is especially beneficial to balance Vata dosha but works well for Pitta and Kapha too. You could also add any vegetables you like.
Oftentimes, I like to eat kitchari on the day prior and/or next to a feast or a holiday, where I know that I will indulge on foods that are more difficult for the body to break down.
If you eat it the day before, it will prepare the body for all the heavy dishes and improper food combinations coming in the banquet.
Whereas if you make kitchari on the following day, it will provide you with sustenance without overloading your digestive system, that will still be dealing with the excesses of the previous day.
You can make this dish whenever you feel in need to give your stomach a little rest. And as it a complete, super nourishing and easy meal, you can also include it on your weekly menu rotation.
Check out the video below to see step-by-step video recipe, and give it a try. Your body (and your taste buds) will thank you later!
If you love this recipe as much as I do please, let me know in the comments! Share it, and post a picture on Instagram, tagging me as @iambelemgarcia and with the hashtag #ThisTulaLife. I'd love to see the result!
1/2c mung beans
1/2c basmati rice
4-5 medium carrots
1 Tbsp ghee (or coconut oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp grated ginger (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
3 C water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp asafoetida (optional)
To serve (optional): chopped cilantro, lime juice, Nigella seeds, or sesame seeds
Soak the mung beans and basmati rice between 3-8h, or overnight.
Roast the carrots at 200ºC, until they are tender (around 30 min).
Heat the ghee and fry the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and grated ginger.
Rinse and drain the mung beans. Add to the pot along with the water. Lower the heat and let it simmer.
Rinse and drain rice, and incorporate it to the pot.
Add the rest of the spices (turmeric, coriander, and asafoetida). Continue simmering until the rice and beans are soft and creamy.
Once cooked, stir in diced the roasted carrots and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 more min.
Serve hot and top with cilantro, lime juice, and Nigella or sesame seeds (optional).