Kitcheri is a wonderful Indian comfort food that brings detoxification for your system; purifying the digestive tract and systemic toxins from the body restoring balance. It provides nourishment but allows the body to spend less energy on digestion and devote more time to healing. The digestive tract is often overworked constantly having to process different foods that we intake throughout the day, weakening the digestive fire. Eating kitcheri provides the means to give the digestive system a real rest seeing as it is so easily digestible.
Ayurveda believes that all healing begins with the digestive tract; so fasting so to speak on kitcheri is a good way to start. It is the ideal detox food, it has long been used to nourish babies, the elderly, the sick and the healthy during times in need of detox or special calendar dates for detox or for deep spiritual practices.
There are many recipes for making kitcheri especially as this is what is known as real Indian comfort food that would have been prepared in Indian homes over the years to warm the bones and re-energise the system, prepared lovingly with ‘Mum’s’ own special recipe.
Normally to warrant the name of kitcheri the mixture must consist of white rice such as basmati which is easier to digest than brown or red rice, and split mung beans, also the process of splitting making the beans easier to digest and lighter for the stomach. For me however if I am making a fast of kitcheri for only one day I prefer to make it with just rice omitting the beans really making it lighter but still as delicious. However this way the fast should be short as one day only, otherwise without enough protein the blood sugar can become unstable making you constantly hungry and irritable. The goal of a fast is to rejuvenate and detox the fat cells this will not happen if the body is under stress and strain. The basic equation is that stress will add to the body storing fat and no stress will allow for fat burning, so as well as the fast it is important to practice de-stressing techniques. We process our stress through the intestinal wall, chronic stress will compromise digestion and bring a build up of toxins within the body, which can lead to disease.
Eating Kitcheri can induce a deep inner calm and bring back harmony to your system; here is one recipe but for me for a one day fast I omit the mung beans, but for a 5 day fast it is definitely advisable to keep them within your diet.
1 cup split yellow mung
½ cup white basmati rice
1 tblespn fresh ginger
1 teaspoon each of black mustard seeds (already toasted to remove cholesterol and toxins) cumin, turmeric
½ teaspoon coriander, cinnamon, cardamom
pinch of rock salt
7-10 cups of water
Big spoonful of desiccated coconut
The mixture can all go in the pressure cooker, let it steam for about 20 mins or alternatively you can do in the saucepan but cooking may take a little longer. The mixture should be stodgy, if you need to add a little more water then do so.
For now enjoy your kitcheri and feel GREAT!!
Mangala / Nicky