Comforting Kitchari Just like Mom's

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Kitchari, pronounced kich-ah-ree (sometimes spelled khichadi or khichdi), is a delicious yet simple, porridge-like blend of beans and rice. It is often referred to as the Indian comfort food, but perhaps contrary to the western idea of comfort food, kitchari has many healing and cleansing benefits and has long been used to nourish babies the sick and elderly and as sustenance during detoxification, cleansing and deep spiritual practice.  

 

Benefits of Kitchari

Good For all Dosha Types

Kitchari is tridoshic which means that regardless of your dosha or doshic state, this is one food that supports everyone.

Creates a Complete Protein

The combination of rice and split mung provides all the amino acids needed to form a complete protein. Eaten on their own, each of these foods is missing one or more of the essential amino acids that our bodies are not able to make on their own. However, together their protein content supports our entire system.

Easy to Digest

While beans are typically too drying and gaseous for Vata types, the split mung bean is gentle and easy to digest. Similarly, white rice is traditionally used in kitchari because it is easier to digest.

Helps Strengthen Agni (digestive capacity)

Healthy agni allows us to digest, assimilate, and absorb nutrients from our food, while weak or imbalanced agni leads to malabsorption and accumulation of ama, or toxin by-products of undigested foods.

Aids in Detoxification

The astringent qualities of split mung help to remove toxic build up from the intestinal lining without the harsh abrasive nature of raw vegetables.

 

RECIPE

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Herb-Infused Ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spiced Golden Milk (or regular turmeric)
  • 1 cup split mung beans
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • Salt to taste
  • About 5 cups water

Instructions

  • Heat oil or ghee in a large heavy-bottom saucepan casserole over medium heat. Add asafetida and cumin seeds.
  • As soon as you smell the fragrance of the cumin seeds, add the onion and ginger. Stir-fry until onion begins to turn transparent.
  • Add cardamom pods, garlic, garam masala, and turmeric. Stir and fry for 1 minute. Add the mung beans and rice. Sauté for about a minute or two.
  • Add salt and water, and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent sticking. Uncover and check to ensure that the rice and mung beans are thoroughly cooked, and serve.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.