Kitchari is the Ayurvedic dish that traditionally consists of basmati rice, split mung beans (aka mung dahl), Indian spices and a variety of vegetables. Although this is a very simple meal, it can be made quite versatile depending on the ingredients used. There are cleansing kitchari recipes for times of detoxification, rejuvenating kitchari recipes for times of building strength, kitchari recipes for specific doshic imbalances and kitchari recipes for specific seasons. It is endless really! One thing they all have in common is that they are well-cooked to a mush, making them easy-to-digest, highly nutritious and profoundly nourishing.
This particular Kitchari recipe is specific for those of a Vata body-type or those having a Vata imbalance (i.e. constipation, gas, anxiety, worry, sleep issues, restless thoughts and excessive dryness). Being that Fall is considered the season of Vata, it is also perfect for this time of year; helping one to stay grounded and centered during this time of transition.
The sweet potatoes in this recipe are perfect for Vata, being of an earthy-rooty nature. The warming qualities of the fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice and Vata-friendly spices help to increase a weak digestive fire while preventing Vata digestive issues such as gas, bloating, cramping and constipation. Using the bone broth as a base is an amazing way to get a wide variety of essential, easy-to-absorb, rejuvenating nutrients. Bone broth is also extremely healing in many Vata disorders, as it is great for lubricating the body both inside and out.
Taking this meal during times of chaos, ungroundedness, depletion or low energy will help one to set a strong foundation, increasing focus, boosting energy, and strengthening the body. Always remember that Vata types need a routine in their life and this is especially true when it comes to our eating habits. In general, Vata individuals need three warm, nourishing meals daily and this recipe is a great place to start!
- Doshic effect: Vata ↓,Pitta ↓, Kapha ↑
- Serving: 3-4
- Time: 10-15 minutes prep time, 45 minutes cooking time
- Vegan or Vegetarian with modifications
- Large sauce pan
- Cutting board and knife
- Grater for ginger (optional but recommended)
- Measuring cups
- 6-7 cups of bone broth (substitute with meat broth or water)
- 1 cup of split mung beans, soaked overnight (can be substituted with soaked whole mung beans, although the cooking time and broth will increase)
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 1 small-medium sweet potato, chopped and cubed
- 5-7 leafs of kale, de-stemmed and thinly chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 fresh lemon, freshly squeezed
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1-2 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 2-3 tsp Vata Churna spice mixture
- Sea salt or Himalayan salt to taste
1. Place the large sauce pan on medium heat and add the sesame oil. Once the oil is heated, add the Vata Churna Spices and sauté here for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. After the spices are slightly sautéed, pour the bone broth or other liquid into the sauce pan and increase the heat to high.
3. Once the broth is at a boil, reduce the heat and add the split mung beans, basmati rice and chopped sweet potatoes. Cook here on low heat and covered (leaving a large crack to avoid overflow) for 10 minutes. **Side-note: If you are using whole mung beans, add only the beans to begin and cook for 15 minutes before adding the rice and sweet potatoes.
4. After 10 minutes, add the chopped kale. Cook here (on low heat and slightly covered) for an additional 30-35 minutes or until all of the ingredients are fairly mushy and very well-cooked. During this time, make sure to stir everything every 5-7 minutes or so.
5. Once the ingredients are at a desired consistency (i.e mushy), take the pot off of the heat. Add the chopped green onions, grated ginger, fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Save a few of the green onions for garnish if desired.
6. Stir everything thoroughly and then cover the pot for 5-10 minutes, allowing the flavors to find their harmony.
7. Serve and garnish with the extra chopped green onions.
8. Enjoy this dish throughout the Fall and Winter months, or anytime your Vata needs to be balanced!