The long awaited time of Spring is here! It’s a time of clearing and growth. In Ayurveda, this is one of the most powerful times for a good cleanse to let go of the heaviness we naturally accumulate during the colder Winter months. As the weather warms and colors blossom around us we naturally become more active. One of the best ways to cleanse is with kichari. This is a traditional “one pot” meal that is cooked with digestive building spices that is both cleansing and nourishing. Each kichari can be customized to meet the needs of each season, each person. This one is particularly good for reducing Kapha or heaviness and excess from Winter. Essentially, a kichari (also spelled kichadi) is a mung bean, rice and spice dish that is both cleansing and nourishing. Below is my Spring version of this basic and delicious dish.
1 cup Mung beans or yellow split dal, rinsed well
1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice, rinsed well
5 cups water
Place rice, bean, salt and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low simmering for about 30 minutes. While this is cooking in a large saute’ pan heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil over medium heat for the spices.
3 tbs. Fresh chopped ginger
1 tsp. Cumin seed
1 tsp. Fennel seed
1 tsp. Coriander seed ground
1 tsp. Turmeric powder
½ tsp. Cinnamon powder
1 cup chopped onions
Saute’ until the onions are translucent & the whole mixture is golden. Add into the kichari along with:
1 cup chopped tri-colored Carrots
1 cup Daikon or red radish
2 tbs. chopped Cilantro Stems
Cover and cook on medium low heat for at least 10 minutes. Add juice of one large lemon and 1 cup of chopped kale or other leafy green before serving. Turn off the heat and cover to steam the kale. Depending on your needs you can add a little more salt, lemon or Ghee to your bowl. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy! For cleansing,you can make a large pot of kichari to eat for lunch and dinner. It is best to make a batch that you will consume within 2-3 days, ideally.
Note for Crockpots:
We live in a busy time and as much as we would like to have great leisure and ease to cook, rest, play, etc. So, if you have a crockpot, or can borrow one, you can make your kichari with ease. Get all your ingredients prepped in the evening, add to the crockpot with 2 more cups of water. Set your crockpot on low if you are going to cook it overnight for 6-8 hours. Check it in the morning when you get up and if the consistency is to your liking, turn it off. Now, you have your lunch and your dinner ready. You can enjoy it at room temperature for lunch or dinner and reheat the rest the next day. Remember, it is best to reheat food only one time and of course, please avoid using microwaves as much as possible and never, never, never put plastic in the microwave, please!?! More on that another day. Happy cleansing! xo Jana