What is Kitchari?

March 18, 2020

Ayurveda

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What is kitchari?

Kitchari is a staple in India to help boost immunity, improve digestion, and remove toxins. Typically during the spring & fall seasons kitchari is enjoyed during a cleanse period. Meaning you enjoy this meal for lunch & dinner maybe even breakfast. How long you should do the cleanse depends on your dosha & your digestion. See below for more info. on that!

Duration-

Vata Dosha- 3-5 Days

Pitta Dosha- 5-7 Days

Kapha Dosha- 7-10 Days

Time of year- Usually the last week of September through end of October is the best time to do a Fall cleanse and the end of March thru start of  April for a spring cleanse. 

 

**If you want to do a true cleanse here are ideas on what to eliminate from your diet.

Eliminate-

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Meat
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Sugar

Add-In-

  • Early bedtimes ideally by 10pm but if just getting started start with 11pm.
  • Getting up earlier it’s best to get up at 6am that might help you feel more refreshed when you get up after 6am you run into the kapha time of day which can leave you feeling tired and stagnant. So this might be something to try and know it won’t get fixed in a week but will be a great habit to work on building. Which would also help you get to bed earlier.
  • Journal your feelings when you want to smoke a cigarette or other uncomfortable emotions come up.
  • Meditate- keep meditating in the mornings
  • Bedtime routine- Maybe play around with an evening routine it doesn’t have to be the same each night but something that feels good.  (see below charts for other ideas on activities you might enjoy)
  • Reduce Technology-Keep phone and tv consumption to a minimal this week.

Morning Routine Ideas

  • Scrap your tongue & brush teeth
  • Dry brush skin
  • Sip on room temperature or hot water with lemon in it
  • Gentle movement- yoga or stretching, walk

Evening Routine Ideas

  • Reading
  • Meditation
  • Gentle stretching

Breakfast Options

  • Have a small bowl of kitchari (recipe below)
  • Green juice (recipe below)
  • Oatmeal

Lunch Ideas

  • Kitchari
  • Quinoa with vegetables (any vegetables listed in the kitchari recipe)
  • 1-2 cups of bone broth
  • Fresh coriander chutney can be added onto kitchari or quinoa bowls

Dinner Ideas

  • 1-2 cups of bone broth
  • Kitchari
  • Fresh coriander chutney can be added onto kitchari or quinoa bowls
  • If not hungry you don’t need to eat

During the day

  • Try not to snack
  • Make sure you are waiting 3 hours before eating
  • Try not to eat after 7pm
  • Drink plenty of room temperature water throughout the day
  • Enjoy un-caffeinated tea throughout the day
  • If in need of more food enjoy another bowl of kitchari but try to space them out between meals
  • You can also do a handful of nuts in between meals if needing something more to eat

Before bed

  • Take a triphala tablet before bed - if in need of more regular elimination (optional)

Activity

  • Now is not the time to start a new workout routine as you will be in a cleanse mode- walking and yoga are ideal

Kitchari Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • ½ cup yellow mung dal
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow or black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 6 cups water
  • 1–2 cups chopped vegetables- add 3 of the following veggies- carrots, cauliflower, kale, zucchini, asparagus, sprouts, spinach

Directions:

Wash rice and mung dal and soak overnight. Drain soak water.

In a medium saucepan warm the ghee. Add the Kitchari Spice Mix and sauté for one to two minutes. Add rice and mung dal and sauté for another couple of minutes. Then add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Once the kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until it is tender (approx. 30–45 minutes).

If you are adding vegetables to your kitchari, add the longer cooking vegetables, such as carrots and beets, halfway through the cooking. Add the vegetables that cook faster, such as leafy greens, near the end.

Add more water if needed. Typically, kitchari is the consistency of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. A thinner consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak. You will notice that kitchari will thicken when it cools and you may need more water than you originally thought.

Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).

Makes 4 servings

 

A few more recipe ideas for a true cleanse

Mango Ginger Chutney

Ingredients:
2 large ripe mangoes, chopped
1” piece of ginger, grated or chopped finely

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup

Preparation:

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let chutney cool completely, then transfer to a jar and refrigerate. Can add to kitchari if you want a little extra flavor.

Cilantro Coconut Chutney

Ingredients:
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves and upper stems chopped

1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 c. dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1 t. honey (I prefer to use raw honey)
1 t. salt

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until everything is well integrated (add a few tablespoons of water if things are not getting well-processed). You will likely need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides to achieve a good quality.


Alkalizing Green Drink for Morning

Ingredients

  • 1/2 to a whole cucumber with skin
  • a few large green leaves (lettuce, collard,
    watercress, kale, etc.)
  • small piece fresh ginger (half thumb size)
  • 1 teaspoon - 1 tbs. coconut or MCT oil
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 cup Aloe Vera juice


Blend in blender on high for 30 seconds.

Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea

Ingredients:

1 T. each: fennel seed, coriander seed

1 t. cumin seed
4 c. water

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes. Enjoy immediately, or strain and enjoy individual servings throughout the day.

Turmeric Tea

Ingredients:

4 slices of fresh turmeric* Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Hot water
Honey to taste

Pinch of black pepper

Preparation:

Place turmeric and lemon juice in a mug; fill with hot water. Let tea steep for 7-10 minutes, then add honey and pepper.

* If you only have dried turmeric powder, mix 1/4 t. with a good amount of honey in your mug. Add lemon juice and steep as recommended.

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I'm Andrea - your Seasonal living guide

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