The 5,000 year old ancient practice of Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, is a set of guiding principles for healthy living. The word Ayurveda literally translates to "life knowledge." Using a holistic synergy of diet, herbs, yoga and self care practices designed specifically for each individual, Ayurveda works to restore balance of the mind, body and spirit.
One of Ayurveda's classic nourishing and delicious recipes is Kitchari, a blend of mung beans or lentils, rice, spices and vegetables. Not only is it a complete protein and easy to digest, it's also loaded with antioxidants and considered medicinal. According to Ayurveda, the spices in this recipe work synergistically to strengthen agni (digestive fire), detoxify, and restore balance. Kitchari is often used as part of a cleansing regime for people under high stress, with digestive problems, toxicity, or simply for seasonal wellness. I couldn't find any scientific research on Kitchari's effectiveness specifically, but there is a plethora of research on the individual ingredients in this dish as medicinal, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective, and overall health promoting.
There are thousands of kitchari recipes with varying combinations of herbs, spices and vegetables. Some are designed for individual needs. The recipe below is a general recipe that usually works for all doshas or constitutions. If you have heartburn or other serious medical conditions, please consult your health care provider before eating kitchari or planning a cleanse.
Photo by Emma Frisch
While this recipe takes time to prepare, it's a simple recipe and you will get about 5-6 meals out of it. You'll also get the numerous health benefits of kitchari!