Kitchari – The Nutritious Ayurvedic Detox Dish

  • By Akshata
  • 04 Jun, 2014
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. Easy to make and healthy to eat.
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. The most popular Ayurvedic detox dish, has gotten huge popularity in recent years in US and other western countries.

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 Benefits of Eating Kitchari
1. Easily prepared
2. Easily digested
3. Nutrient rich
4. Builds vitality and strength
5. Excellent detox dish
6. Kitchari spices bring aroma, flavor and reawakens the digestive fire (agni)
7. Cleanses toxins from bodily tissues
8. Restores sagging energy
9. 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

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. Enjoy!

I have couple of other varieties to Kitchari, please do check out Ayurvedic Detox Kitchari  and Semi-Raw Kitchari.

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