Kitchari or Kitchadi is an Ayurveda inspired one-pot dish. There is a skillful use of vegetables, grains, and spices in this preparation which can bring about a balance of doshas in your body. In this article, I am trying to explain a basic Kitchadi recipe and how to customize it as per your doshas.

Why is it important to understand your Prakriti or basic body constitution?

Constitutional type of an individual or Prakriti is the basic clinical denominator in Ayurveda, which defines the physical, physiological, and psychological traits of an individual and is the template for individualized diet, lifestyle counseling, and treatment. The Prakriti of a person is quite capable of providing a fair indication of physiological strengths and weaknesses, mental tendencies, and susceptibility to illnesses of various types. There exist a number of tools, mainly questionnaires, for ascertaining the Prakriti of an individual among which the most commonly used is a questionnaire. There also exists the age-old method of nadi vigyan or pulse diagnosis, through which a skilled Ayurvedic physician can determine Prakriti among other things.

Kitchadi Recipe 

Ingredients –

1/2 cup Basmati rice

1 cup Mung beans (split yellow beans)

6 cups of water

1 tbsp. ghee

1/2 tsp. ginger chopped

1/2 tsp. coriander powder

1/2 tsp. cumin powder

1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1 pinch asafetida/hing

A handful of fresh cilantro leaves

1 1/2 cup of vegetables

Method of Preparation –

Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft about 20 minutes. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.

In a separate saucepan, sauté the mustard seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavors. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the salt to taste and chopped fresh cilantro and serve warm.

This is a general recipe that can be customized as per your Doshas constitution.

How to Customize your Kitchadi as per dosha constitution?

The chart below shows the list of vegetables, spices, cereals and lentils recommended for each dosha. As per your dosha choose the ingredients and prepare in the same method mentioned above.

For example, if you are a Vata predominant person, take ½ cups of quinoa or ¼ cup each of quinoa and rice and prepare kitchadi adding vegetables like beets and carrot and adding spices like cumin, cinnamon and cloves.

 

Vata Pitta Kapha
Use the following vegetables – Asparagus, beets, cucumbers, carrots, green leafy vegetables, celery, seaweed, squash Use the following vegetables – Zucchini, Yellow squash, Sweet potatoes, potato, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Carrots, beets, green beans, mushroom, Fresh corn, Brussel sprouts, cilantro, artichokes, pointed gourd as per your choice Use the following vegetables – Green leafy vegetables, artichokes, beets, carrots, white potatoes, green beans, peas, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, cabbage, sprouts
Spices like asafetida/hing, cumin, turmeric, cloves, mustard seeds, cardamom, black pepper, ajwain, cinnamon, dill, fennel, ginger favor Vata. Use 1/2 tsp. each of your favorite choice of spices. Spices like Coriander, mint, fennel, cumin, turmeric can be used. Spices like Ginger, pepper, asafetida, saffron, cumin, cardamom, anise, cloves can be used.
Instead of rice, you can use quinoa/oatmeal to prepare Khichadi Rice (white, basmati, wild), barley, oats, quinoa, amaranth, whole wheat can be used as the grain. Use cereals like Barley, millet, corn, buck wheat, rye, whole wheat, quinoa, bran
Use any of these lentils – Yellow mung beans, tofu(marinated), green mung beans Use lentils like Black beans, Kidney beans, long beans, pinto beans, mung beans, soy beans Use Mung beans

Kitchadi is a staple of an Ayurvedic diet and is known to be the perfect detox food. Kitchadi is one of the most nutritious meals, which is fairly easy to prepare. Taking no more than 30 minutes to cook, it is a soothing mixture of rice and lentils, simmered to preferred consistency, and seasoned with spices to improve your digestion and the goodness of ghee.

 

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Article by Arya Krishna