For a while now, Ayurveda has played a role in my life: in natural beauty, healing and nourishment. I eat a largely vegetarian diet, and tend to add a lot of “warming foods” into my diet as I have relatively slow digestion and many food sensitivities.
In Ayurveda – a 5000 year old holistic healing system – there are different types of “doshas” (a person’s physical constitution / energies), which have an impact on the types of food one should be eating, how much we should be exercising and a host of other recommendations. While I won’t dig into the whole idea here (it’s a big one), I’ll introduce you to one of my favourite Ayurvedic dishes: kitchari (also known as kitcheree). It’s no stranger to my Instagram (thanks to @puroslo for inspiring this latest kick)/ Snapchat (snap.kate) accounts, so you may have seen it there already.
Kitchari for Beauty
So why am I choosing this dish? Well, kitchari is the go-to dish in Ayurveda for cleansing. Kitchari is what you eat during an ayurvedic detox or cleanse, or make to nourish the sick or elderly. It is considered one of the better ways to help detox the body and balance all three doshas, or body types: vata, pitta, and kapha. There are probably a million or so different kitchari recipes out there, but I’ll share with you my favourite.
Kitchari is used to help heal the gut – the place where many traditional medicine practices say is where disease starts. But with a healthy gut, also comes beautiful glowing skin. If the body is detoxing properly, the outside will glow.
If you wish to try and get the full benefits of kitchari, try doing a kitchari cleanse for 2 days – use the kitchari as your meals throughout the day and supplement with a lot of warm water, herbal ginger tea and other non-sugary/caffeinated liquids.
Ingredients & Method
- 1 cup brown rice (soaked overnight and rinsed)
- 1 cup sprouted mung beans (soaked 2 hours if sprouted, or overnight, then rinsed)
- 5 cups of water (add 2 more cups of water if you want it more “soupy”)
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled)
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 – 2 cups of spinach (or other green such as kale, swiss chard or other collard)
- 1/2 inch of gradted fresh ginger
- 1 tbs turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1 ½ tsp. black pepper, freshly
- 1 Tbs. pink himalayan sea salt
- To top: chopped cilantro
- If you wish, add on a fat (either ghee or virgin coconut oil)
Method for Cooking Kitchari
- Soak your beans and rice (over night if possible) then rinse
- Bring beans and rice to a boil (with 5 cups of water) – reduce to simmer for 20 minutes
- Add your chopped veggies (except spinach) and spices
- Continue to simmer (turn up heat if veggie addition stopped the simmering) for another 20 minutes
- Taste & begin to correct seasonings (likely more salt and black pepper)
- Add spinach (or other green of your choice) let simmer for 5 minutes
- Let cool slightly
- Top with cilantro & serve hot
Kitchari is said to give easily-assimilated proteins and nutrients for all body structures. It’s so nourishing, warming and comforting (even in this early summer weather). It’s hard to get enough – but the good thing is, you can just enjoy! <3