Real Kitchari: An easy healthy dish to make for any meal anytime.
Wow, I was going to call this post, “Kitchari: The only dish western ayurveda practitioners know how to make.” but I thought that everyone might take that the wrong way. 🙂 Like much of everything else that becomes popular in the masses, it tends to be watered down and the real knowledge or authenticity is lost. Real ayurvedic kitchari as you will soon see is hardly the dish that is being touted as kitchari to the general public.
There are so many easy to make, langhan and pachak (lightening or fasting and digestive) dishes in ayurveda, I don’t know why this is the only one that is taught to the practitioners like it is a panacea. Maybe soon I will write other recipes to other easy to make dishes that are just as important. Kitchari’s real name is “Krsara’ in the texts of Ayurveda. Any way you look at it, it is the new buzz in westernized ayurveda and it is probably here to stay.
The exact recipe from Ksemakutuhalam, one of the Ayurvedic texts states…
12 parts unbroken sasti rice (just use Sona Masoori rice as Basmati rice is the most inferior rice as per real Ayurveda)
8 parts green gram (otherwise known as mung beans)
Cook the above mixture to a thickened consistency (like that of dry oatmeal) and dress with wet ginger, asafetida, and turmeric (cooked in ghee). That is all. Yep, that is it. Nothing else is added.
The dish is like the consistency of a very dry oatmeal and is very easy to digest. Adding other things to it will make it more complex which is why it remains this simple.
In other Ayurveda texts you will find it made with only salt and tumeric and maybe cumin. No ghee at all.
But speaking of ghee: https://trueayurveda.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/once-again-real-ghee-it-is-not-what-you-are-buying-in-the-store/
A little side note on rice. Basmati has found its way to the top of the food chain in Western Ayurveda. Little surprising since Basmati rice is specifically mentioned as one of the worst rice as per Ayurveda.
The reference for this is in Charaka Samhita in the first sthana, Sutrasthana 25.38. It is mentioned as the worst rice and is unwholesome for consumption.
The rices that are fit for daily consumption are mentioned as:
One should regularly consume; shashtika (60 day maturity rice) and shali (red rice) 2 types of rice.
Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 5.12
In lieu of all of that, you can get Sona Masoori at almost any Indian grocer. After you get it, prove it for yourself. Make a 1/2 cup of basmati and 1/2 cup of sona masoori. Test them side by side. I need not say anything else. You will obviously be able to tell the difference in qualities. Seriously, you need to do this to understand and experience. It gets annoying having Western Ayurveda practitioners email me telling me they don’t see Basmati anywhere in the texts.
This recipe is used in Ayurvedic “cleansing therapy” because of its ease of digestion and assimilation. it is stimulation and strengthening of the digestion that detoxes, not by combining lots of popular heavy nutrient dense substances or using heavy and cold coconut oil like popular articles are stating. On top of that by using coconut oil, which is cold and then using hot in potency herbs you are combining opposites which can create incompatibility and lead to clogging, not cleansing.
This khichdi is good for all doshas, balancing them and, especially when cooked with spices, is appropriate for each dosha. It is usually recommended as a monodiet during “detoxifying.”
Khichadi can be eaten by persons with any type of doshas but is especially good for vata.
Now, all Western Ayurveda practitioner’s please try this for yourself.
Look up the recipe for kitchari at the Ayurvedic Institute here: https://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/kitchari_recipe.html
As I always say, try it for yourself, test it. Don’t take my word for it. Cook both recipes, the one i give above and then the one with the link at the same time and test it for yourself. You will find that the modern kitchari “Dr. Lads” recipe is the heaviest to digest, the ancient textbook version is easier to digest and serves the purpose that it is supposed to as well as has the results intended by Ayurveda. Even worse is to take the even further bastardized recipes from the net where they are using coconut oil and all sorts of substances. Really, go and try the side by side and then also try by making one as a meal and then the other as the next meal and see how it feels.
This says a huge amount of information. First off the art of ayurvedic cooking is lost in only the culture. It is not taught or even known in the West. Pick up any ayurvedic cooking book and check it out for yourself. Seriously. They are all missing the huge point of the foundations of Ayurveda and how the ingredients as well as the order they are cooked and the amounts of each. The quantity that is eaten is also so important as it is what ayurveda is about. In my practice, I see excess eating and combining of to many substances. Ayurveda is never and has never been vata, pitta, or kapha diet plans and list to follow. The preparation of the food articles is actually more of importance. by this all of the real results are had.
There is what is called Pakashastra in India. It is the ancient art of cooking. There are very very few ancient texts left on the subject and none of them have been translated into english. The only way to learn the true art of ayurvedic cooking is to live in the culture, in a village, where the elder women still cook this way. There you might learn this ancient art that would be the deep science of cooking.