The Perfect Cleanse for Yogis: Kitchari

moong dal khichdi or khichri, Indian national Dish or food, selective focus

Ayurveda is the 5,000 year old sister science of yoga; it translates to “knowledge of life” in Sanskrit. Do you need a mental, physical or spiritual reset? Are you fatigued or feeling out of balance? Try this balancing Ayurvedic cleanse.

What is Kitchari (AKA Kichadi, Khichari or Kichari)?

This cleanse is based on a dish called kichadi or kitchari and cumin, coriander, fennel tea. Kitchari consists of split mung beans and basmati rice, with spices and herbs. It is balancing to the body, harmonious to mind and easy to digest. Try this cleanse for a day, week or even longer; just listen to your body. You can try this cleanse as the seasons change, but spring is a particularly powerful time to reset.

Tridoshic Kitchari Recipe

Ingredients

Half a medium onion finely diced
1 inch fresh peeled ginger, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon hing or asafoetida (reduces the gaseous nature of beans)
1 cup split mung dal
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1/2 bunch spinach (or other vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, etc.)
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt/rock salt
4 1/2 cups water (add more water for soup-like texture or less for a drier stew)
4 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Garnishes: parsley, lime, sesame seeds and/or cilantro

Instructions

Wash the dal and rice until the rinse water is clear; drain well. Heat the ghee on medium in a pan. Add the onions and ginger to sauté until tender. Add the cumin, fennel, coriander, and hing and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the dal and rice to the mixture. Sauté for a few more minutes and add the cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir, and lower the heat. Simmer on low until tender with the lid on (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, wash and chop the vegetables. Add the greens to the top of the mixture and replace the cover. Allow to steam on top for 5-8 minutes. When done, add salt and stir. Garnish with a squeeze of lime, fresh cilantro or parsley, a dollop of ghee and toasted sesame seeds.

Cumin Coriander Fennel Tea

Take 2 teaspoons each of cumin, coriander and fennel. Add them to boiling water. Turn the heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and sip warm tea throughout the day.

Other considerations: if you are going through a divorce, moving or changing jobs, try the gentle techniques of dinacharya, instead of a cleanse.

Kitchari: An Ayurvedic Cleansing Meal



What's your Ayurvedic dosha? Take this quiz and find out

The balance of your Ayurvedic doshas, also known as prakruti, is a key part of understanding your holistic health.

Doshas are the three energies found in nature, and also in the human body. They are broken down into three types: vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas are responsible over our bodies, minds, emotions, and thoughts. From birth, we are each individually made with a very specific blend of the five basic elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. That unique blend is your prakruti, or what uniquely constitutes your individual body, and can be broken down by a combination of the three doshas: vata (ether + air), pitta (fire + water), and kapha (water + earth).

The three doshas are the building blocks to understanding our prakruti, and once you understand which is your dominant dosha, you can know what your balanced state looks like. This is vital, as through this lens you can spot exactly when your body goes out of balance, and how to bring it back into balance. Humans are being of nature, constructed from the same five elements, and thus can use the opposing elements as needed to bring us back into balance.

It all hinges on knowing your doshas, however. You can get a general sense of where your dosha balance lies, and go from there to correct the problems. You can even seek out the help of an Ayurvedic practitioner, who can take a look at your insights and prescribe anything from food and herbs to a new lifestyle. Thanks, Ayurveda!

Tally up the number of v’s, p’s, and k’s you receive (standing for vata, pitta, and kapha), whichever you have the most of is your dominant dosha:

1. Physique

  • v) I am a slender person and I hardly gain weight
  • p) I am medium build
  • k) I am well built and I gain weight no matter what I do

2. Skin

  • v) My skin is dry, thin, and itches often
  • p) My skin looks flushed; I have lots of moles and freckles on my body
  • k) My skin is smooth and soft, it looks pale sometimes

3. Hair

  • v) My hair is dry, thin and brittle
  • p) My hair is neither dry nor oily (for men: I have a receding hairline)
  • k) My hair is thick, full, lustrous, and slightly oily

4. Face

  • v) My face is oval
  • p) My face is triangular (pointed chin, prominent jaw line)
  • k) My face is round

5. Eyes

  • v) My eyes are small; they feel dry often and have a bit of dullness (usually brown)
  • p) My eyes are medium in shape; sharp & penetrating (usually blue)
  • k) My eyes are big and round in shape, full eyelashes

6. Hands

  • v) My hands are generally dry, rough; slender fingers; dry nails
  • p) My hands are generally moist, pink; medium fingers; soft nails
  • k) My hands are generally firm, thick; thick fingers; strong & smooth nails

7. Joints

  • v) My joints are small, prominent bones, and often crack
  • p) My joints are medium and loose
  • k) My joints are large, sturdy, with lots of muscle surrounding

8. Activities

  • v) I am a very active person (always on the go, mind constantly thinking)
  • p) I like to think before I do anything
  • k) I am steady and graceful (I don’t like to rush)

9. Actions

  • v) I walk fast and talk fast
  • p) My actions are very thoughtful and precise
  • k) I like a slower pace and I take my time to accomplish things

10. Sleep

  • v) I do not sleep soundly at night. I tend to toss and turn. I wake up early in the morning
  • p) I am a light sleeper but if something wakes me up, I can go back to sleep easily
  • k) I am a heavy sleeper

11. Appetite

  • v) Varies, sometimes I feel hungry, sometimes not, I feel anxious if I don’t eat
  • p) I always feel hungry. If I don’t eat I get irritable and angry
  • k) I don’t feel very hungry. I can go without food easily for a day

12. Bowel Movement

  • v) I tend to have constipation and can go a day or two without a bowel movement
  • p) I am regular and sometimes stools are loose (tend to get diarrhea)
  • k) I have no problem. I wake up to go to the bathroom.

13.Voice

  • v) My voice tends to be weak or hoarse
  • p) I have a strong voice, I may get loud sometimes
  • k) My voice is deep, has good tone

14. Emotions

  • v) I am a born worrier, I often feel anxious and nervous
  • p) If things don’t happen my way, I feel irritable and angry
  • k) I am a happy person, very caring and loving

15. Weather Preference

  • v) I love warm and humid weather
  • p) I enjoy cool weather, I dislike a warm climate
  • k) I like warm but dry weather

16. Sweating

  • v) I sweat little but not much
  • p) I sweat profusely and it might have an unpleasant odor
  • k) I never sweat, unless working very hard

17. Memory

  • v) I remember quickly and forget quickly
  • p) I remember what I want to remember and never forget
  • k) It takes me a while to remember, but once I do I never forget

18. Actions

  • v) I tend to be spontaneous
  • p) I am a list maker. Unless I plan, I don’t do anything
  • k) I don’t like to plan, I prefer to follow others

19. Stamina

  • v) I like to do things in spurts and I get tired very easily
  • p) I have medium stamina
  • k) I can work long hours and maintain good stamina

20. Mind

  • v) My mind gets restless and racing easily
  • p) I get impatient easily
  • k) It takes a lot to make me mad. I usually feel very calm

21. Decision Making

  • v) I change my mind more often and will take time to make a decision
  • p) I can make a decision easily and stick with it
  • k) I want others to make the decisions

22. Personality

  • v) “Is it too late to change my mind”?
  • p) “It’s my way or the highway”
  • k) “Don’t worry, be happy!”

23. Sports

  • v) I like action
  • p) I like to win
  • k) I like to have fun

24. Health Problems

  • v) My symptoms are mainly pain, constipation, anxiety and depression
  • p) I often get skin infections, fevers, heart burn, and hypertension
  • k) I tend to get allergies, congestion, weight gain and digestive problems

25. Hobbies

  • v) I like art (drawing, painting, dance) and travel
  • p) I like sports, politics, and things that get my adrenaline pumping
  • k) I like nature, gardening, reading, and knitting
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