The kitchari Cleanse is an eating plan that is designed to restore eating habits and give the body a break. The cleanse focuses on a handful of easily digestible foods.
Kitchari cleanses are common in Ayurvedic medicine and wellness practices. The foods consumed during a kitchari cleanse are abundant enough to give your body the energy it needs to realign your doshas, or your body\’s three sources of energy. The rest of the energy, according to Ayurvedic doctors, is devoted to removing toxins that accumulate in the body.
In addition, cleansing can help you change your habits and rest your digestive system. Cleanses are often promoted as a way to restore balance after a period of over-consumption, for example, during the vacations. A kitchari cleanse is the perfect January cleanse because it is warming for your digestive fire and keeps your body nourished (unlike a juice cleanse). It\’s affordable, delectable, and very easy to make!
Benefits of a Proper Kitchari Cleanse
- Increases the digestive capacity
- Removes toxins from the system
- Removes heaviness and congestion from the body
- Removes heaviness and congestion from the mind
- Enhances the “Sattvic” (balanced) state of an individual
- Enhances energy and feelings of wellness (you may experience low energy during the cleanse due to the flushing of toxins and mono-diet)
- Increases confidence and motivation levels
What is a kitchari cleanse?
The word “kitchari” means mixture, and the kitchari dish itself is usually a combination of a grain and a legume in a warm soup. The dish commonly uses rice and mung beans. Other whole grains and legumes like lentils can be used too.
Though legumes, in general, are difficult to digest for many people, lentils and mung beans are on the easier-to-digest list.
A bowl of kitchari is ideal for the cleanse because it’s easy to digest, and it provides plenty of nutrition for healing. It’s the primary dish in a kitchari cleanse, but other foods may be incorporated too.
Easy-to-digest, well-cooked vegetables like leafy greens and carrots can be eaten during the cleanse. Grain dishes like oatmeal are often a part of it too.
What’s more, hydrating teas and specific herbs may be selected for helping balance your doshas. Water and tea are the preferred beverages during a cleanse.
How to kitchari cleanse
To do the kitchari cleanse, enjoy a warm bowl of kitchari for two to three meals a day for three to 21 days. If it\’s your first time, we recommend just starting with two meals a day (lunch and dinner) for a weekend and having warm tea and fruit or oatmeal for breakfast.
The great thing about kitchari is because it\’s an actual balanced meal with all three macronutrients, you can actually have it as long as you want.
Always listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel. The kitchari cleanse should be enjoyable and you shouldn\’t feel like you\’re cleansing. Drink warm spiced tea, before and after each meal to keep the digestive fire active. Rest as much as possible, detox from social media, and connect with nature for best results.
Ayurvedic Kitchari Recipe
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (vata and kapha) or coconut oil (pitta)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (less for pitta, more for vata/kapha)
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ½- to 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (less for pitta, more for vata/kapha)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup basmati rice, soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
- 1 cup split yellow mung beans (dal), soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
- juice of 1 lime, to serve
- flax meal, to serve
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For vata, add:
- ½ cup diced sweet potato
- 1 cup chopped mustard greens
For pitta, add:
- ½ cup chopped kale
- ½ cup diced butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
For kapha, add:
- ½ cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup chopped dandelion greens
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds and cook for 3 minutes or until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the coriander, ginger, turmeric, and asafetida (if using). Stir to combine.
- Stir in the water, rice, mung beans, and vegetables for your dosha. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice and mung beans are cooked and vegetables are soft, about 40 minutes.
- Serve warm, topped with fresh cilantro and lime juice. Kitchari can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- To make in a pressure cooker: After sautéing spices, combine rice, mung beans, and vegetables in multipurpose pressure cooker and press high-pressure cook. Allow to cook for 15 minutes and release pressure.
A proper cleanse will leave you feeling light, energized, and full of mental clarity. On the other hand, an improper cleanse will leave you feeling depleted, lethargic, and dull-minded with continued symptoms of indigestion. So please use awareness and listen to your body.
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