Autumn is truly here! 🍁 As the days become cooler and shorter, our bodies are also going through changes. In Ayurveda, autumn is said to be ruled by the energy of air and ether, and these qualities in our environments are reflected in our bodies. As the season changes, you may experience dry skin and joints, increased anxiety, or digestive issues such as constipation, gas, or bloating. Antidotes to many of these issues can be found through eating a seasonal, local diet consisting of fresh vegetables and grains.
Ayurveda encourages cleansing at the turn of the seasons as a way of clearing out accumulated toxins and allowing the body and mind to reset before the new season takes hold. Doing a gentle cleanse which does not stress the body is a wonderful way to re-energize and to boost immunity, especially as we head into cold and flu season. If you find yourself feeling sluggish or not your best, it is the perfect time to offer your body a re-set.
While there are thousands of cleanses available, Ayurveda offers a unique and simple way of supporting the body with kitchari, a traditional meal made with mung beans, basmati rice, and spices. This combination is light and very easily digested but also very nourishing. Eating kitchari helps give your digestive system the chance to scrub out toxins which can prevent the immune system from functioning optimally.
There are a number of ways to do a kitchari cleanse. Traditionally, one would eat kitchari for every meal for three to seven days to allow the body to clean and reset. This is a wonderful choice if you are willing to commit to a few days or a week of a mono-diet. However, you can still reap the benefits of kitchari even if you only eat it for one meal each day for three to seven days. In this case, it’s best to choose fresh, in-season vegetables and grains for your other meals and to eliminate sugar, dairy, caffeine and animal products for the time of the cleanse!
Here is my favourite recipe :-)
- Yellow split mung beans 1 cup
- White Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Ghee – 2 tablespoon
- Curry Leaves (if available) – 4 leaves
- Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Green chillies whole – 2 (you can chop them if you want to)
- Fresh chopped ginger – ½ inch
- Fresh garlic chopped – 3 pods
- Jaggery – 1 teaspoon
- Coriander – chopped
- Lettuce leaves (optional) – 4 -5 leaves
- Salt to taste
Soak yellow split mung beans in hot water for 15 minutes. If you were to soak in quite hot water, then you won’t have to soak overnight as many recipes suggest.
Soak rice in room temperature water for 15 minutes.
With 1 cup yellow split mung beans, add 1 teaspoon turmeric, pinch-full asafoetida along with 2 cups of water and boil it in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then boil in a sauce pan, making sure the lid is shut airtight with something heavy on top of lid to prevent steam from escaping. When the mund daal is boiled, it should be quite soft. Keep this aside.
1. Heat the Ghee until very hot.
- Curry leaves
- Asafoetida – pinchful
- Cumin seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Green chillies
- Chopped ginger
- Chopped garlic
2. Stir for one minute.
3. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon turmeric and stir for 5 minutes. Shut with a lid
4. Add the mung beans and stir for 3 minutes.
5. Add 2 cups of water (double amount of rice taken)
6. Let it come to a boil and then simmer it down.
7. Add jaggery and salt, stir well. Cover with a lid and let the rice cook. The rice should be cooked in 10 minutes or so.
8. Towards the end when the rice is almost cooked, sprinkle chopped coriander over the Kitchadi. Then layer it with lettuce leaves. Shut with lid so that the lettuce leaves are steamed with the heat.
9. Remove from heat, let it settle down for 5 minutes or so and there you go, traditional Kitchadi is ready to be eaten!
Recipe courtesy of: https://deepaapte.com