Kitchari – the Ayurvedic cleansing bowl of goodness.

I came across Kitchari at the beginning of summer this year as I was approaching my birthday and experimenting with vegan, gluten free cake recipes.

I was feeling bloated from all the taste testing and know that a juice cleanse isn’t suitable for my food-loving self, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that I can consume nothing but juice for an entire day, I simply cannot.

The Ayurvedic answer to a cleanse is food, and nourishing, hearty food at that.

I’ve added this to my diet and have tried to eat this for a couple of days every month if possible but am far more lax than the guidelines of Ayurveda.

They say that in order to reap all the benefits of a kitchari cleanse, you should stop drinking caffeine and alcohol a couple of days before and eat this for every meal for three to five days minimum.

I didn’t like the idea of eating essentially a curry for breakfast, so I stuck to my morning smoothie bowl and ate this for lunch and dinner for three days.

I love the heartiness of this bowl, filled with delicious flavours, goodness and also love how full I feel after eating kitchari.

After playing around a little with recipes, I’ve come to like the following the best. I also like mine a little dryer than most recipes call for and less of a “stew”, but if you prefer it more soupy, feel free to add more liquid.

You will need:

  • 1 cup brown rice (soaked for 24 hours)
  • 1 cup brown lentils (soaked for 24 hours)
  • 2 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 T cumin seeds
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 2 t ground turmeric
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t chili flakes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into about 1cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 courgette, diced
  • 2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley

What you need to do:

  • Heat a small amount of oil in a large pot and add the cumin seeds, toasting for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the rest of the spices and stir for 30 seconds, then add the onion and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and stir for a further minute. Add the carrot, rice and lentils and stir to combine in the spices.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach and parsley. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir.
  • Add water or vegetable stock to cover everything, place a lid on and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes until everything is cooked and soft and the water/stock has been mostly absorbed. Stir in the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, taste for seasoning and serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and additional chili flakes or cayenne pepper if desired.


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