Kitchari, which has a number of spellings that include kichari, khichdi, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, kitcheree, and kitchree, is a vegetarian dish that some people eat as a part of a detoxifying and cleansing diet associated with Ayurvedic medicine. The dietary ideals associated with this type of medicine, which has its roots in India, are popular with those who practice yoga, who want to perform a fasting cleanse for their digestive system, and for those who might have digestive problems and are looking for an Ayurvedic recipe that will help calm the symptoms of digestive upset. Many people find kitchari a simple, delicious dish to make as part of their Ayurvedic cleansing process.
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If you're trying an ayurvedic diet while dealing with a hectic lifestyle, then you'll appreciate how simple it is to make kitchari. In fact, the name of this dish means "mixture" or "mess" because it's little more than a simple stew that contains several ingredients that will help cleanse the digestive system. The main ingredient in this body cleanse recipe is mung beans, which are small, green, and pellet-shaped beans that come from a number of Asian regions such as India, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. While these beans are prepared in a number of ways throughout these countries, they are the principle ingredient in kitchari because they have the natural ability to cleanse the body of toxins that build up in the body that come from other treated and processed foods. Other ingredients in this detox food include basmati rice, which is Indian rice that's available in either brown or white, ghee, which is Indian butter that has been boiled with milk to give it a pleasant aroma, mustard and cumin seeds, and a variety of seasonal vegetables. Many people add a bit of organic salt to increase the flavor of their dish as well, but since salt causes bloating, it's best to use it sparingly.
Here is a simple, delicious recipe for kitchari:
How to prepare:
Wash rice and mung dal well, then soak overnight. In the morning drain the water, and rinse well again.
In a medium saucepan warm the ghee. Add the kichari spice mixture and saute for one to two minutes. Add rice and mung beans and saute for another couple of minutes. Then add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until it is tender (approx. 30-45 minutes). If you are adding vegetables to your kitchari, add the longer cooking vegetables such as carrots and beets halfway through the cooking. Add the vegetables that cook faster such as leafy greens near the end. Add more water if needed. Typically, kitchari is the consistency of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. Garnish with fresh cilantro and add salt/pepper to taste. This recipe makes 4 servings.
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Not only are kitchari mixes vegetarian recipes, easy to make, and delicious, they are also rich in fiber that help the body rid itself of impurities naturally. The mung beans rid the body of inorganic chemicals that are often sprayed onto fruits and vegetables that we eat every day and that are also present in a number of processed foods that are a common part of the American diet. If you are trying to figure out how to cleanse the body with the foods you eat, you may discover that kitchari is a great option because not only do the beans in this dish help rid the body of toxins, the fiber contained in the beans, rice, and in the vegetables you add also help cleanse out your digestive system in a way that's gentle, unlike harsh over-the-counter digestive aides that might contain additives that harm the body.
If you want to use kitchari recipes as a part of a fasting diet, there are a number of vegetables and spices that you can use in them that won't affect their ability to detox the body. Even if you substitute cauliflower for summer squash, for example, your body is still receiving the same type of nutrition and your organs don't need to produce as many enzymes, which allows them to rest and heal from trying to digest large or heavily-processed meals. A kitchari cleanse can help people who suffer from a number of digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease.
Because many Indian food recipes include food easy to digest, such as kitchari, they are often recommended to people who have digestive issues and who are looking for ways to include foods in their diet that will not aggravate their existing symptoms. One advantage to kitchari is that it's suitable for anyone who changes their eating habits to an ayurvedic diet in order to experience an easy detox cleanse. Unlike a lentil soup recipe that might contain a number of different ingredients, a basic kitchari recipe fits all three body types that are associated with an ayurvedic diet. These three types, which are known as doshas, are Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. The basic principal behind an ayurvedic diet is to discover what type of dosha you have and then follow a diet that will most support it, particularly the digestive system. This can become problematic for many people, as it limits what they can eat, but this is there kitchari becomes such a vital part of this lifestyle because it is so versatile. No matter what type of kitchari you make, it's suitable for all three types of doshas. It's an Indian food recipe that you can make in a number of ways so that it's never bland or boring, and the types of different veggies you can add don't take away from its main purpose, which is to cleanse the digestive system and calm and soothe your organs.
If you're looking for different ways to prepare kitchari, keep in mind that unlike a basic recipe for lentil soup, this stew will not give you the type of ayurvedic benefits you're looking for unless you include the mung beans and the basmati rice. While some recipes claim that you can substitute these two ingredients for different types of beans and rice, they are the driving force behind kitchari's benefits and should therefore always be included. Basmati rice is more digestible than other types of rice, and choosing the brown variety also means that you are adding more nutrition to your recipe. When you're considering what types of spices to add to your kitchari, you may want to consider sticking with cumin, turmeric, and fennel powder or seeds. Adding other spices, such as garlic, may make your dish harder to digest and negate any benefits you're looking for from kitchari. For a selection of kitchari recipes and more information on ingredients you can use, visit this site.
DISCLAIMER: The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. None of the statements made on this website have been reviewed by the FDA. Any product mentioned is not meant to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or taking any medication, ask your doctor first before taking these or any other herbal remedies.
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