Monday, March 9, 2015

Kitchari 101 - Panchakarma Prep!

Vata reducing Kitchari
Welcome to Kitchari-land!!  I've been eating variations of Kitchari all week and so far I haven't gotten tired of them.  There are many varieties of Kitchari and I'll plan to share a few of my favorites over the next few weeks.   Technically, any dish with beans and a grain (usually rice but other grains can be used) is considered a Kitchari.  You can customize your dish by adding vegetables that will support your constitution or other health needs.  This is a fantastic way to support your organ systems in a "grass-roots-kitchen healing" methodology. The link for the recipe is below.

Frozen Onondaga Creek

Kitchari is an easy to digest cleansing blend of beans, rice and digestive spices.  Kitchari is full of protein and fiber, and it's bulking nature helps to clear out the digestive channels. White Basmati rice is easier to digest, because the rough bran has been removed.  Mung dal it a wonderful protein that is considered to be one of the easiest beans to digest(No gas with Mung beans!).  They are cooling for a fiery digestive system and work like an antacid.  The goal is to soak them well and then cook them together so that part of the digestive process takes place in the pot. If you are going through a cleanse, Mung beans are used because of the ease with which they are digested. 

The spices used in a Kitchari are selected with purpose.  A Vata person will be looking for warm soothing spices.  A Pitta person would need cooling calming spice blends.  Kapha would need something that is warm and stimulating.  This is the fun part, because you can make a base pot of Kitchari and then adjust it for your families specific needs by simply altering the spice combination and the vegetable selection. Here is a link to the Ayurvedic Institutes food guideline.  It is a complete list of foods that are appropriate for each constitution.
Thawing Onondaga Creek

Kitchari is a very big part of Ayurveda and the Panchakarma process.  During Panchakarma you prep the body for cleansing treatments by reducing the stress on your digestive system.  Kitchari is a dish that has been feeding people in India for thousands of years.  It is a dish that is given to the sick, elderly and it's the first food for children. You might not be ready to go through a long cleanse....but think about doing a 3 day mono-fast of Kitchari.  See what your body thinks and give yourself a change to reset your system. You'll be surprised how attached you are to the foods in your cupboard (those sneaky little addictions we all have for...oh say...chocolate chip cookies...argh!!) The snow is melting a bit today and the Creek is starting to thaw - Mother Nature in action cleansing herself - Beautiful! We should all follow Mother Natures example and go through a little  detox after this long cold winter. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

 Here is the link for your Basic Kitchari.

Kitchari - Healing in a bowl!
Blessings to All!
Warm Kitchari Kisses!

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