meatless monday: kitchari

A staple dish in Ayurvedic diets, this “fall digestive kitchari” recipe is courtesy of Yoga Journal. The most recent issue features a fall detox plan that includes this recipe (and others) to balance the body and stoke agni, the body’s own internal digestive “fire.” Read more about the 7-day detox (which also includes a quiz, meditation, yoga, and reflection as part of an energetic detox) and take part in it here.

Fall Digestive Kitchari 
This basic recipe is good for vata dosha, and is the base recipe for both pitta and kapha doshas with the noted additions. 

1 c. basmati rice
½ c. organic whole mung beans (don’t use split mung beans), soaked for at least three hours before cooking
4 c. purified water
2 tbsp. organic ghee
1 tsp. black mustard seed
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 pinches hing (asafetida)
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 stick of kombu or wakame
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. turmeric

for pitta dosha imbalance:
½ tsp. dry fennel seed
sliced burdock root (appx 8 inches long) or 2 sliced carrots
1 ½ c fresh green beans
1 small zucchini, sliced

for kapha dosha imbalance:
1 ½ tsp. coriander seed
1 ½ tsp. oregano
3 bay leaves
2 c. chopped vegetables, including zucchini, leafy greens, green beans

Rinse the rice and mung beans and soak for three hours or overnight. Drain. If using vegetables, cut into cubes. In a pot, warm the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds (and, if using, fennel and coriander seed) and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add tumeric (and if using, other spices), mung beans, and rice. Then add water, kombu, and ginger. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 40 min. If using vegetables, add starchy ones (burdock or carrot) halfway through the cooking. Zucchini and beans should be added 10 min. before the kitchari is done. Greens can be added in the last five min. If you need to add a more water, do so, but the kitchari should be the consistency of stew when done. Garnish with fresh cilantro chutney and add salt to taste. You can have avocado with a little salt and lemon or steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, beets, green beans, asparagus, fennel, and summer squashes) as a side dish. Eat enough to feel satisfied, about 1 to 1.5 cups, and then relax for at least 15 min. to support good digestion.




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