If you've been to an Ayurvedic retreat or have an Ayurvedic cookbook, you are no stranger to kitchari. This dish has been around for ages and is a classic when it comes to healing and resetting the body.
Kitchari is very easy to digest, due to its simple ingredients and the long time of cooking. But it is still delicious and can do wonders for your body. I usually turn to kitchari every time I feel a bit under the weather and when I feel I need to detox. Since your body is not needing much energy to digest this food and access the nutrients in it, the energy can go towards healing and strengthening your body. Kitchari is also a tridoshic meal, which means it does not aggravate neither Kapha, Pitta, nor Vata.
There are tons of kitchari recipes out there and I invite you to take the recipe below and experiment with it a little bit - find your perfect blend of spices and make it yours. I have turned to making my kitchari in an instant pot, because it's super effortless and it comes out amazing every single time, but you can also make it in a normal large pot.
You can change the ratio of rice and yellow mung dhal in order to balance how you currently are feeling: if you feel very ungrounded and restless (aggravated vata dosha) increase the amount of rice and decrease the amount of mung dhal (up to 300 gr of rice to 100 gr of mung dhal) and if you're feeling heavy and sluggish, increase the amount of mung dhal and decrease the amount of rice (up to 300 gr of mung dhal to 100 gr of rice).
makes about 4 portions
2 tbsp ghee (if you're vegan, you can replace this with an oil of your choice, potentially coconut or sesame)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
2cm piece of freshly grated giner
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 pinch of ground pippali (long pepper - can be substituted with black pepper or if you have trikatu powder)
1 pinch of asafoetida
2 l water
200 gr basmati rice
200 gr split yellow mung dhal
3 finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp ghee for extra nourishment
Wash the rice and the dhal thoroughly and let as much water as possible drain
Heat a pan on the stove and add your rice to it. Dry roast it for about 20 - 40 seconds. Take the rice out of the pan and set aside, repeate with the mung dhal. This increases the digestibility.
In a large pot heat the ghee. Add cumin, fennel and mustard, fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Now add the coriander, turmeric powder, pippali and asafoetida and fry for another 30 seconds. Lastly add the ground ginger and give it another 30 seconds. This is your spice broth - the heart & soul of your kitchari <3
Add the rice and dhal and give it a good stirr. The spice broth should be evenly distributed on rice and dhal.
Add the water and bring everything to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
If you are using seasonal veg, cut it and add it now. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes about 5 minutes in. (so if you're not using vegetables, let the kitchari simmer for 35 minutes in total and then add the tomatoes). You can also add another half teaspoon of ghee and some rock salt to taste now. Let simmer for 5 more minutes.
Your kitchari should be ready now. Don't worry if it looks overcooked, that's exactly what it's supposed to look like. You can garnish with some fresh herbs and enjoy!