Kitchari is an Ayurvedic staple. A Full Moon, New Moon or when Seasons Change is a great time to do a cleanse and Kitchari is delicious this time of year. In my professional opinion the only safe cleanse is the Kitchari Cleanse. Although there are many variations of this recipe, I have formulated what I feel is a super simple and all pleasing option. I also prefer to prepare the rice separately from the lentils. Best of all you will NOT feel hungry, nor experience extreme mood swings or fatigue. You will feel energized, satiated and calm. And... ready for it? You can eat as much as you want!!!!
photo credits to @innayas
I studied Nutritional Sciences in University and worked in a private practice with the primary focus on nutrition for many years. This is not just a new fad, nor something I put my name behind lightly. I believe that in order to be sharing with others in the Holistic Health industry we need to know what we are doing. The energetic and physiological shifts that people experience when actively participating in these powerful self-care regimes, be it nutrition, meditation or energetic, requires support and sound guidance. Please know I am here to support you. Through Ayurvedic experiences for the last 25 years, I feel very comfortable sharing this information on Ayurveda with you. Ayurvedic health starts in the digestive system. The mung beans are alkaline forming and blood purifying so they provide protein and nutrients to nourish the body. The rice is easily digested. Talk about DELICIOUS ALCHEMY for the body!
The Francesca's Spice blend is perfect to use in the Kitchari recipe, however, you are most welcome to add a bit more of any spice that you desire. For example, if you like hot & spicy add more cayenne or hot curry powder. If cumin or cardamom are your thing, add more. Create the flavour that suits your taste buds which can change from day to day. Experiment, have fun! Kitchari is a gift to our bodies.
Kitchari, basmati rice & dal (lentils), using Francesca's Spice create a balanced food that is a good protein combination & is super healthy for all body constitutions, (more on what this means below). This complete food is easy to digest, has a low glycemic-index & gives strength & vitality. It nourishes all the tissues of the body. Kitchari is the preferred food to use when fasting, cleansing programs detoxification and de-aging of the cells. Kitchari is also an excellent addition to meal planning for your family. So, whether you choose to follow this as a cleanse or just add variations of it to your weekly menu planning, your body will thank you. Who can benefit from adding Kitchari to their diet? EVERYONE!!! Now if you have any "belly issues" colitis, GI issues, GERD, constipation, bloating, intestinal mucus, sore muscles & joints, headaches or migraines, need to lose weight, diarrhea - just to list a few conditions, Kitchari is for you! Yet even if you are healthy all around your body can use a Kitchari break!
This recipe invites you to play with different vegetables depending on what is in season and what you have on hand. If you would like to be even more aligned with Ayurvedic practices, see the suggestions below the recipe. I have packaged my Francesca's Spice mixture to assist you in preparing this recipe. Remember, you can also add extra spices to give variety to this recipe. Some ideas include curry leaves, chili seeds, garam masala or anything that suits your fancy. You can also just add more Francesca's Spice. Yellow lentils have various names such as yellow split peas or mung/moong dahl. Both the red & yellow varieties of lentils are easy to find in most grocery stores.
- Servings: 4
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
Ingredients - Dhal
- 125 ml Red Lentils
- 125 ml Yellow Lentils
- 1 L Water
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 1 chopped Onion
- 2 chopped Carrots
- 2 medium Potatoes
- 250 ml chopped Celery
- 250g packet frozen Spinach
- 250 ml Parsley/Cilantro
- 15 ml Coconut Oil
- 15 ml Olive Oil
- 30 ml Francesca's Spice
- S&P to taste
- 5 ml Pepper
Ingredients - Rice
- 250 ml Basmati Rice
- 375 ml Water
- 15 ml Coconut/Olive Oil
- S&P to taste
- Warm the coconut & olive oil on high heat. Quickly temper the onions in oil with the spices.
- Add the water & lentils. Cook on high until boiling, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, celery, & coconut milk, cook another 10-15 min.
- Add S&P to taste. Add parsley & spinach at the end before you turn off the pot.
- I use a rice cooker to make my rice, usually takes 20 min. I would suggest starting the rice while the lentils are cooking.
Notes: Papads are super yummy done in the air frier (I bought them!)
There are three constitutional types in Ayurveda, called doshas: vata, pitta & kapha. They are elemental forces that work in nature and our bodies. Very simply put, vata is air, pitta is fire and kapha is water. Each of us is born with a dosha combination known as our prakruti, which determines what will be needed to balance us. Our imbalances are called vikruti, Ayurvedic practices balance this out. Understanding this in full is not required for you to successfully take part in the cleanse or add this to your regular menu planning. If you are interested in exploring your dosha, please feel free to reach out. I have listed the foods below to empower you to feel out what your body needs and to encourage you to add variety! There are lots of simple online quizzes you can take to find out what you are, this is one of many that I could suggest.
Vata Pacifying Vegetables
Pumpkin, asparagus, beets, carrots, green beans, leeks, mustard greens, sauteed sweet onion, parsnip, radishes, rutabaga, squash, sweet potato, zucchini
Pitta Pacifying Vegetables
Asparagus, beetroot & greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green beans, fennel, leafy greens, cooked sweet onion, peas, radishes, squash, sweet potato, zucchini, arugula, collards, dandelion greens, endive, kale, parsnips, acorn squash, spaghetti squash
Kapha Pacifying Vegetables
Artichoke, arugula, asparagus, beetroot and greens, bell pepper, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, celery, chili peppers, chives, cilantro, collards, corn, endive, fennel, green beans, green chilies, kale, leafy greens, leeks, mustard greens, onions, radish, scallions, shallots, spinach, sprouts, turnip, watercress, brussel sprouts, sprouts
Francesca's Kitchari Cleanse
If you are choosing to do the 3-day cleanse it is best to do this when you can devote time to yourself and your body. Listen to calm music, take an epsom salt bath, practice yoga, meditate, diffuse essential oils and/or go for a walk. Have a massage or engage in a Chakra Balancing Session with me. Socially be in the company of those who are supportive. Dancing or wiggling your body will help flush your lymph (the garbage pool in the body) of trapped waste. Maybe you want to do this with a friend or your whole family. It is safe for all and you can change up the vegetables to please any taste buds.
1. Upon waking, drink warm water with lemon.
2. Eat fruits in the morning. Fresh or frozen, pureed as a smoothie, adding a protein powder is suggested. My favourite brand is from Niyama Wellness (FRANCESCA15 discount code). If you still feel hungry after 1 hour eat oatmeal with cinnamon and/or cardamom. Please use NON-DAIRY milk. Alternately you can consume kitchari first thing in the morning, depending on how you feel about this.
3. For the remainder of the day eat as much Kitchari as you would like, but try not to get too stuffed. A little warm water is suggested during the meal but not too much. It is best to consume your liquids in between meals.
4. A Ginger Tonic (large piece of ginger, cut into small pieces, lime juice & sea salt, soaked in a bowl for 20 min) or Digestive Tea (5ml each cumin, coriander, fennel seeds boiled in 1L of water, then strained) is great before or in between meals. If you have digestive tea in your cupboard you already enjoy, feel free to use it.
5. If possible, do not consume food after 7pm to give the body plenty of time for digestion before bed.
What to Expect?
Providing you drink plenty of water, you should only experience mild "cleansing symptoms". However, it all depends on how you have treated your body prior to this point.
What if I Mess Up?
Honestly, do your best. Even the fact that you are willing to entertain this speaks volumes as to where you are at! If you really need a coffee or a piece of bread, that is just fine. Progress not perfection. Personally, I like to make Kitchari a regular part of my diet and not big on fasting. I usually treat my body well from a food perspective, but when my belly flares, as it does, I gravitate towards this diet naturally. Maybe your first time around it is not bang on, but that is okay! Slowly transition into a more plant based, easily digested, nutritious way of eating. I will continue to share recipe ideas to help you out!