Mmmmm Kitchari.... Kitchari is the ultimate Indian comfort food. With the consistency of a comforting stew, it is a healing staple food in Ayurveda. Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, is based on an understanding that each person has an individual elemental constitution that can be balanced through thoughtful consideration & cultivation of our eating patterns, lifestyle choices, and styles of meditation & yoga practices. During seasonal transitions, it is easy for the body & mind to move into a state of imbalance, which is often revealing in our food choices & digestion. During these moments of witnessing the shifts in our external environment, Ayurveda will often encourage balancing the inner environment of the body with gentle cleanses. A traditional option is a three day (or longer) mono-diet of kitchari, which is easily digestible, high in protein & supportive to detoxification.
Food has been a central part of my own self-care in the last year. Working with my Naturopath, Dr. Jennifer Haessler, we eliminated a lot from my regular diet & I said a very sad goodbye to wheat (although I can tolerate gluten), as well as cow diary, eggs, corn, & much much more. The end result was that I don't only feel waaaaaay better physically, but my feelings of stress & anxiety greatly decreased. I give myself some permission to cheat & enjoy the foods I love, but I also deeply experience the correlation between what foods I eat & my mental/emotional state of being.
I love food. Cooking is my "other yoga." It's definitely one of my greatest passions & I am always my happiest when preparing a meal for the people I love. Part of my self love practice is cooking myself a beautiful meal. Last week I felt an intuitive draw to cook up a big pot of kitchari & completed the three day kitchari cleanse. My body loved the simplified diet, but my attention span struggled as I love getting creative in the kitchen. In my ashram days, I remember my affection for kitchari growing into agitation after eating it meal to meal on a more lengthened cleanse. I knew the intention was to balance not only our digestion & detoxification, but also our food cravings. I remember feeling like a badass sneaking contraband granola & peanut butter in my room (I think I may have just out-hippied myself that time I brought homemade granola with me to India).
So in in an effort to balance simplicity & flavours, I started using my Kitchari as a base for a buddha bowl creation. Super tasty, nourishing soulfood.. it was too good not to share!
Its high protein.
High in amino acids.
Its easily digestible (following the Ayurvedic nixing of onions & garlic).
And the mug beans are said to promote detoxification.
If you want to learn more about preparing kitchari & this seasonal Ayurvedic cleanse, Banyan Botanicals have put together a great resource here. Follow that link to their Tridoshic Kitchari recipe.
Phase Two: Accessorize
- Quick Homemade Minty Cilantro Chutney (below) (yummmmm)
- Roasted curried chickpeas (for crunch + protein)
- Roasted sweet potatoes (for sweetness, vitamin A, fibre)
- A little Wildbrine red beet sauerkraut salad (for fermented probiotic goodness)
- A little bit of yogurt (goat yogurt in my case)
- And a dusting of hemp hearts for even more protein.
Minty Cilantro Chutney:
- Great big handful fresh cilantro
- Great big handful fresh mint
Add to taste:
- Lemon juice
- Chilli peppers (fresh or flakes)
- Himalayan salt
* "Great big handful" = a least one cup
Into the food processor.
Add a little water.
Blend & nom.
My spice tolerance is high (my food motto is if it's not spicy... what's the point?), so I'm going to let you adjust the ginger & flavours according to your own preferences.
Hope you enjoy! <3