Kitchari recipe

There are many ways I've seen to spell Kitchari, this is my favorite way, so I am going with it. Recipe makes 3-4 servings. If you are doing a Kitchari cleanse (where you eat just Kitchari for 3-14 days) this should last you for roughly a day. Depends somewhat on how hungry you are, and if you eat 3 meals of kitchari or if you choose to eat other things too. Spice measurements depend on how much you like spices and what season we are in. Below is a kitchari recipe for spring, a season when it is ok to eat more spices. If you are lazy (which I sometimes am) or don't want to buy all the spices individually, buy a spice mix. I really like Banyan Botanicals spice mix for Kitchari.

Enjoy! XO

Ingredients

1/2-2/3 cup basmati rice (depends on how much rice to mung beans you like)

1 cup Green mung (split will cook faster but either is fine) 

1 tablespoon ghee 

1/4-1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 pinches of hing powder

1/2 inch fresh ginger

1/2-3/4 tsp turmeric 

2 pinches mustard seeds

2 pinches or a few turns of a pepper mill (to taste)

Salt to taste

5-6 cups of water (maybe more, depends on the consistency you like your kitchari)

Procedure

Wash rice and mung dal and soak overnight, or for at least 3 hours. Drain soaking liquid. 

In a medium saucepan warm the ghee. Add the mustard seeds, ginger, cumin, turmeric, pepper, hing in that order (or add spice mix) sauté for one to two minutes. Do not burn spices.

Add rice and mung dal and sauté for another couple of minutes. Then add 5-6 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, perhaps longer if you are using whole mung rather then split). Stir occasionally and check water, add more water if needed. The consistency of your kitchari is personal preference.  I personally like a porridge-like consistency, but a more soupy, watery consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak.

I love adding vegetables to my kitchari. If you are adding vegetables to your kitchari, add the longer cooking vegetables, such as root veggies; carrots, beets, or celery halfway through the cooking. The vegetables that cook faster, such as leafy greens, you add closer to the end. The larger you cut the veggies the longer they will take.

Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley and add salt to taste.

Spring: cultivating healthy kapha

According to Ayurveda, Spring is kapha season, which if you know something about ayurveda you might associate this with allergies, colds, and gaining weight. However there are many benefits to cultivating healthy Kapha in our bodies and in our minds!

First, a little background on Ayurveda. Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems still in practice today. It originated in India and is the sister science to yoga. Translated from sanskrit ayurveda means the science of life. According to Ayurveda, everything is made up of the 5 great elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.  These elements come together to make three doshas: vata, pitta, kapha. Vata, pitta, and kapha are energies in the body, that govern physiological activity. We are all born with a unique ratio of the three doshas.  If relatively healthy, following basic seasonal dietary and lifestyle recommendations will keep you that way.

We are now in the Kapha Season. Strength, stability, and growth are all associated with Healthy Kapha, since the Kapha dosha is made up of water and earth elements.  Because earth is heavy and inert, now is the time get moving and to experiment with your exercise routine, take that dance, pilates, or yoga class you have been thinking about all winter. Try something new! Last weekend, my Husband and I took a salsa class for the first time we had a blast! Check out our moves....

Spring is also a great time to try a cleanse. The idea behind an Ayurvedic cleanse is to give your digestions a break, so that your body can focus on getting rid of ama (toxins.) It is best to eat foods that are easy to digest, cooked in spices that aid with digestion. It is also important to give your body ample time between meals so that old food is completely digested before you put more food into your system. Ayurveda does not recommend complete fasting. Instead it recommends eating Kitchari, and few other select things for 3-14 days, depending on your ama accumulation and your goals.

The Kapha dosha is also associated with love, care, and generosity. This spring take the time to implement self-love rituals into your day-to-day; pack yourself a healthy lunch, read your favorite book, draw, take a bath, etc. Creating a healthy Kaphic balance in your system will help you to feel grounded, safe, generous and kind-hearted. Try mantra meditation to promote healthy Kapha emotionally and mentally; repeat a phrase or word to yourself aloud or in our head, such as: I am love, I am safe, I feel grounded, or OM...

Not to scare you, but if you do notice feeling of heaviness in the body, excess tiredness, weight gain, depression, or excess mucus, these can be some signs of un-healthy Kapha. You might consider seeing someone knowledgable on Ayurveda. Thank you for taking the time to read. Please let me know how it goes, I would love to hear your experience!

Happy Spring! XO