We are in the transition between seasons, which makes it a particularly good time for a gentle cleanse, such as one to a few days of kitchari mono-diet, and herbal tea. Moms who still nurse 2-3 times/day, you can even do this cleanse, when you feel heavy, stagnant, or like your digestive system needs a break. However, if you’re trying to get pregnant, currently pregnant, in early postpartum, or nursing often, this may not be appropriate right now. Kitchari Recipe Tri-doshic, Serves 4
Ingredients 1 cup Basmati Rice 1 cup Mung Dal (split yellow) 7 cups (approx.) Water 2 Tbs. Ghee 3 tsp. Mustard Seeds 2 tsp. Cumin Seeds or Powder 2 tsp. Turmeric Powder 2 tsp. Coriander Powder 2 tsp. Fennel Powder 1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing) Pinch Salt
Optional - Add tridoshic vegetables, such as zucchini, asparagus. Additional vegetables appropriate for the season or body type may be added. -For Pitta: Decrease amount of mustard seeds -For Vata & Kapha: add a pinch of ginger powder
Preparation Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones (if applicable). Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water. Sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Add the mung dal and salt. Sauté for 1 or 2 minutes. Add boiling water, bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the dal is about 2/3 cooked. Now prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add rice and these vegetables. Stir to mix, adding extra water if required. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Aim to have minimal water remaining, leaving the lid on the pot to allow any excess to slowly be absorbed.
Caution: Kitchari mono-diet can lead to constipation if taken exclusively for several days, as it is low in fiber. To ensure proper elimination, the following may prove helpful if taken once a day, away from kitchari meals: psyllium husks or seeds with water OR oat bran OR prune juice. *Recipe modified from Dr. Vasant Lad’s Ayurvedic program.
Cleansing Herbal Tea Digestive tea to alkalize, burn toxins, remove gas, and kindle digestion. Serves 1-2
½ t cumin seed ½ t coriander seed ½ t fennel 3 c water
Bring to boil, simmer for 10 minutes, strain and serve. *Add ginger to stimulate variable or slow digestion.