Posted on August 05, 2021 by Kate Halsall
Kitchari, have you heard of it? Unless you’re into Ayurveda maybe not. Ayurveda is a whole-body healing approach developed over 3000 years ago in India. In Ayurveda they believe everything in the world is made up of the five elements of space, air, fire, water, earth. A combination of these elements in humans gives a person their bodily humor (bodily fluids – blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow bile). And in Ayurveda these are placed into 3 types called doshas named vita, pitta and kapha.
Each dosha will have different amounts of elements present and require different exercise, food and spiritual needs. For example, vata is very airy. A vata person tends to spend a lot of time in their head, they are ’flighty’ can have high energy and be very anxious. As such, they tend to be very slim and usually tall with longer limbs. To balance their dosha they need grounding food and exercise like yin yoga. A kapha person is very earthy. They tend to be more heavy-set and are slow to move. As such they need food and exercise that will lift them like vinyasa yoga.
Kitchari, made from a base of basmati rice and mung dal is a tri-doshic food meaning it will help to balance all 3 doshas. In Ayurveda they use it a lot for healing the gut as it is very gentle and nourishing. Spice blends help warm and detoxify the body as well as being anti-inflammatory and flavoursome. They often will cleanse the body on a mono-diet of just Kitchari and supporting herb blends. Kitchari is a simple one-pot meal and forms a staple in our household.
- Half cup basmati rice
- Half cup mung dal/moong dall (yellow. Split mung dal)
- Sweet potato peeled and chopped into chunks
- Tablespoon of Ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tsp of each coriander seed, fennel seed, cumin seed
- 1.5 tsp turmeric powder
- Thumb sized chunk of ginger grated
- Pinch of pepper
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil
- Optional lime wedge
- Soak the rice and beans for at least 15mins or longer. We often do in the morning to make at night.
- You can use pre-ground spice but we prefer to use from seed. Lightly toasting seeds in a dry pan then placing in a spice grinder/pestle and mortar.
- Heat the ghee in a deep pot and add all your spices, allowing the aromas to be released.
- Add the rice and mung dal with 1 cup of water, sweet potato ginger and salt and pepper. Stir everything together and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for a couple of minutes then turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Allow to cook for 25/30min until everything is soft. Keep stirring occasionally and adding extra water as needed. Dal will be firm but not paste like and not too watery.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, lime wedge and extra salt if needed.
Other serving suggestions. We also like to prepare white fish seasoned with curry powder to go with the Kitchari. Avocado goes well too. We always have sweet potato but sometimes add other veg like cabbage, courgette, green beans, fresh tomatoes or carrots.
Have a play and tell us what you think. And don’t forget to tag us in your food pictures @motive8_north