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.