This dish is known to balance Kapha, Vata and Pitta dosha in Ayurveda. Some of the benefits of eating Kitchari are that it is Nutrient rich, Builds vitality and strength, an Excellent detox dish, Cleanses toxins from bodily tissues, Restores sagging energy, aids in proper digestion, assimilation, and elimination. You can make this in a stockpot or a pressure cooker.
Kitchari- The Ayurvedic Detox Food
Kitchari has been Ayurveda’s age-old signature detox dish! The word “kitchari” (pronounced kitch-a-ree) in India means mixture of two or more grains. Traditional Kitchari is made by mixing white basmati rice and split yellow mung dal. This dish takes a western twist with protein-rich quinoa in place of white basmati rice, which makes this Kitchari extra-nutritious and flavorful.
How to Make Kitchari?
Kitchari “the” most popular Ayurvedic detox dish, has gotten huge popularity in recent years in US and other western countries. My recipe is a mixture of organic quinoa (you could use amaranth, couscous, brown rice) and organic split mung beans. I like having it this way; it brings more nutrition to every bite and even makes the dish more flavorful and filling. And if this is not enough, have taken this traditional kitchari to a whole new level by adding toppings of assorted raw veggies marinated in a spicy tangy curry sauce!!…Yum, yum, yum.
The reason this dish is revered highly in Ayurveda is mainly because it balances all the three doshas – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Kitchari has been a staple food in India for many, many years and is eaten mainly for its amazing taste and texture; the long list of health benefits is an added side benefit!
Some of the Kitchari Benefits
- Easily prepared
- Easily digested
- Nutrient rich
- Builds vitality and strength
- Excellent detox dish
- Kitchari spices bring aroma, flavor and reawakens the digestive fire (agni)
- Cleanses toxins from bodily tissues
- Restores sagging energy
- Dish acts as a medicine to bring the body in a balanced state
The secret to a great tasting dish lies in the spices used! Kitchari uses the right kind of spices in the right proportion to give you not only a comforty warm tasting meal but the medicinal benefits of the spices aid in proper digestion, assimilation, and elimination – which in turn makes this a high powered detox meal!
The easiest way to make this recipe is using a pressure cooker. You can also make this in a stockpot.
Kitchari Ingredients: (2-3 servings)
- 1 cup Quinoa (preferably soaked for 3-4 hrs)
- 1 cup split Mung Beans (preferably soaked for 2-3 hrs)
- 1 tsp EV Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin and Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Fennel powder
- 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ tsp Asafoetida powder
- 1-2 tsp Red Chilli powder (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp chopped Cilantro
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed Lime/Lemon Juice
- Salt to taste
- approx. 2-4 cups of Water
Semi Raw Ayurvedic Kitchari- Ingredients,
If you are using a pressure cooker you can cook the grains and make the kitchari all in one pot! First add the oil in the cooker pan and sauté the mustard and cumin seeds. Later on add the quinoa and beans mixing it slowly with the above mentioned spice powders. Sauté this for a minute until you smell the amazing aroma. Add water to cover the pot and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. The consistency should be thick and mushy.
This can be easily done in a stockpot; the only difference is you need to cook the quinoa and mung beans separately following the packet directions. Later on, you can follow the same procedure to adding spices as given above.
Ingredients for Raw Toppings Sauce
- 1 cup of assorted veggies (colorful peppers, zucchini, onion, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes)
- 1-2 tsp Curry powder
- 1 -2 tsp EV Coconut Oil
- 1-2 tsp pure Maple Syrup
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Lime/Lemon Juice
- Water as needed to make the sauce
Mix all these ingredients in a bowl with the assorted veggies. For best flavors to come out keep these veggies marinated for about 30 mins.
Having the Kitchari with all this flavorful raw toppings, takes this dish to a whole new dimension of flavor and nutrition.
In India, this versatile dish is eaten any time of the day, one can have it for breakfast to kickstart the day, make this a wholesome lunch on any hectic weekday, or have it as a comforty soothing dish on any lazy weekend.
Why mess with classic Ayurveda? Stick with what has worked over time and is proven. It is my opinion that simple is better and that this recipe should be avoided. Om
Most split Moong beans come from far away and stay in stores for long time. A better way to make Kitcheri is to use the whole Moong beans. They will maintain their nutrition since they are all viable seeds that can still sprout. Since rice cooks faster than whole moong, it is advisable to soak moong beans in warm water for 4 hours or so. I have taught this method to Indian chefs as well.
@SidGautam Whole moong beans are more difficult to digest, thus defeating the purpose of kitchari.
That is not kitcheri anymore....that's basically a quinoa bowl. Go with the more traditional method. It's plenty nutritious and the point is that it is supposed to easily aid digestion
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@naive If you live in Canada you may have seen the weeds Lamb's Quarter or Goosefoot plant. Seeds of these are Quinoa. You may have also seen another weed - Pigweed or Amaranth, Seeds of these are Amaranth or Indian Rajagira.
Two similar plants but not the same.
Some of the spices may be hard to find but I'll make it a quest. Went vegetarian and lost 30 lbs. BP is 120/80. Not bad for an old fart.
Interestingly kitchari makes different way along with different rice as long as mung dal, red lentil or mixed veg and some spice. Of course makes a more testy put 3/4 table spoon Gee init. Alternatively fry some panch masala with Gee add with Kitchari. That make you haven. Trust me.
We were taught at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico that there may sometimes be onion, and ghee, and depending upon your constitution or vikriti you add herbs/ spices such as cumin seed, corriander, etc. During Panchakarma you only consume your own kitchari to allow the digestive system to rest.
You can also cook carrot,beet,beans,pea's with quinoa,semolina or broken rice of any kind to make kitchari.try whole spices like chillies,pepper instead of powders so that you can remove them while feeding babies (5-6 months old).
Is there any energitic food one can take after merital relation of the partner. Some time feel pain in back bone and legs. Thank you.
My understanding is that for true Kitchari it is only the basmati rice, yellow mung beans and spices. No added vegetables.
not because quinoa is substituted for the basmati rice in this recipe. Kitchari is a terrific dish.. but usually it is more moist...
Now this is true comfort food, chicken soup for the subcontinental soul. Granny and mom always made this when we are sick. Just add some achar (pickled veggies) and yum! Thanks for sharing
What is Kitchari ? What's the difference? It's important to say to try and stop this constant hype and bullshit by all the media mediums