Ayurvedic Kitchari is a holistic way of healing the body, mind, and soul by cleansing and resetting the digestive system. The ancient science of Ayurveda implements different natural, nourishing ingredients to make comfort food that heals and prevents.
A friend of mine introduced me to Ayurveda about a year ago. Until then I have heard about it but wasn’t sure if it’s an oil or a type of massage, or a diet.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is “The Science of Life”. It’s the oldest healing science in the world. “Mother of All Healing” originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda concentrates on prevention. It teaches the importance of maintaining health through balancing life. Balancing the right thinking, diet, and lifestyle. Ayurveda teaches us how to create and maintain the balance of body, mind, and soul according to our own individual body/character type (Dosha). A big part of balancing the Doshas is food and diet. It combines herbs, spices, and plants to nourish the out of balance areas in our life.
Kitchari is one of the best ways to reset your system, balance your body and mind, and keep your digestive fire going. It can be lightly adjusted to your dosha, depending on where you need balance.
What is Kitchari?
Kitchari means “mixture” and it is the base of Ayurvedic cooking. This superfood is easy to digest and gives strength and vitality. It nourishes all the tissues of the body, creates balance in your digestive system while providing enough energy and protein. Kitchari is a perfect fasting food. It can be used while going through detox or spiritual cleansing practices such as panchakarma. You can adjust the recipe a little to fit and balance your Dosha. Keep it vegan or add some greek yogurt for vegetarian. The cleanse could be 1–3 days or even more as needed.
1 teaspoon GHEE (clarified butter) or coconut oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric (add black pepper to unlock all the benefits of turmeric)
1 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
1 cup Mung Bean (or regular red, yellow or brown lentils)
1/2 cup Basmati Rice
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 tea s cinnamon
1–2 tablespoon coconut milk(can)
If you don’t have all the spices available, the base ones to use are cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, mustard seeds. You can add any vegetables that you have available and love.
It’s a one-pot recipe but I add all the spices to the melted ghee so it can unlock their flavor and benefits. Then add the pre-soaked mung beans. Add the basmati rice and add 5–6 cups of water(add as needed). Add the vegetables of your choice at the end. It’s extremely warming and delicious in a vegan version. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of greek yogurt when I am serving it.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse:
- Kitchari aids the elderly, sick, people in recovery, and healthy people that feel the need to cleanse and reset their bodies.
- Full of minerals(magnesium,potassium,zink,copper)
- Improves digestive health
- Very nourishing(good recovery food)
- Full of fiber
- Good for bone health(rich on calcium)
- Improves energy (perfect protein source)
- Used for mind-body connection
Why healing your gut?
Holiday overeating, or a vacation that you couldn’t resist trying all the traditional, delicious food. We all have had our digestive system overwhelmed at some point in our lives, some times way more often than once. And we all agree with how uncomfortable it is. A healthy digestive system is one of the main components of wellness and resetting it every once in awhile won’t hurt.
Science shows that 95% of the serotonin is stored in the gut. That’s why we have “butterflies in the stomach” or “gut feeling”. Unfortunately, the constant stress of the mind and body go through the digestive system wall(intestinal wall) as well and weakens it.
Your gut is like the engine of your body, it takes all the needed nutrients and discharges everything else. If we don’t feed it right, it cannot get the nutrients the body needs to function. It’s like running your car on water. If you want to take care of it and have it last longer — feed it better oil (food). And let it rest and heal every once in a while by detox cleansing or fasting. Problems in the digestive tract can affect your whole body and even your mind.
Heartburn, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, eczema, depression, and many autoimmune diseases are caused by an unhealthy gut. Many people don’t even realize for years that some of those issues could be fixed by going easy and gentle on your gut. Cleanse, detox, fast, go vegan/vegetarian every once in a while. Trust me, your body is going to thank you and love you for doing so.