This traditional cleansing dish from Ayurveda is called Kitchari and pronounced “kich-uh-ree”. Nowadays, we tend to associate cleansing with fasting, juicing or eating only raw foods. However, according to the ancient tradition, this mung bean-rice-mixture combined with heaps of spices has specific effects that are beneficial for the mind-body system.
“Because we cannot scrub our inner body,
we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs, and mind.
This is the art of Ayurveda.”
Here are some benefits from this plant-based Ayurvedic dish:
- Kitchari balances every mind-body type. As the soaked and well cooked beans are easy to digest, it is even recommended for Vata body types.
- Kitchari contains a complete source of protein by combining grains (rice) with legumes (mung beans).
- Kitachri is an easy-to-digest food, so it offers the digestive system some rest. Especially white rice digests very easily.
- The used spices improve your overall digestion (digestive fire = agni).
- The astringency from the mung dal supports detoxification as it loosens built up toxins.
Ready for this healing, warming, yet delicious meal? – Let’s get into it!
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 1/2 cup mung beans (ideally split)
- 1/2 cup basmati rice (white or brown rice)
- 5-6 cups water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 inch ginger (fresh)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp asafetida
- ¼ tsp ajwain
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 2 bunches coriander
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup dried coconut flakes
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
- For the kitchari, soak the mung beans for a couple of hours before cooking.
- Drain and rinse mung beans, bring them with 4 cups of water to a boil. Tip: scoop off any foam on the top.
- Meanwhile, slice the fresh ginger thinly, prepare the mustard seeds.
- Mix the other spices with a splash of water together into a paste.
- Heat the coconut oil up in a pan, fry the mustard seeds in it until they start to pop. Then, add the paste and fry for a few more seconds.
- Bring spices and mung beans together.
- As soon as the mung beans begin to soften (30-45 min.) add the rice with 1-2 more cups of water (white rice = 1 cup, brown rice = 2 cups). Bring everything to a boil, immediately lower the heat and let the dish simmer on low heat until rice is soft (20-30 min.).
- For the chutney, wash the coriander well and remove the stems.
- Add coriander together with the lemon juice and water to a blender and blend until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and blend into a paste. (You can store the chutney in an airtight glass container for up to one week.)
- Serve Kitchari with chutney on top!
Extra tips for your Dosha
If you’re familiar with your Ayurvedic mind-body type, adjust this basic recipe according to your needs:
- Vata: Slightly increase amount of oil. Slightly increase the ratio of rice to mung beans. You can even use quinoa (instead of rice) for more protein.
- Pitta: Skip mustard seeds, fresh ginger, and reduce amount of pepper. Coriander is well – use chutney, but reduce amount of ginger in it.
- Kapha: Skip oil (and therefore the frying instructions), and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Reduce ratio of basmati rice to mung beans (little bit more beans than rice).
Support your digestion, cleanse your body, and simply enjoy!