Ayurveda’s culinary centerpiece, Khichari (pronounced KI-cha-REE) is India’s one-pot grain and bean dish. This comforting, complete protein recipe is the perfect on-the-go meal for any time of the day. The soaked, rinsed, and dehydrated ingredients and our freshly ground spice blend make this nourishing and cleansing meal convenient to eat healthy and feel good. Its simplicity allows for easy digestion while serving as a base for countless variations by adding your choice of vegetables and garnishes.
We suggest making with ghee or olive oil, lime juice, and fresh herbs such as dill or mint. For adding vegetables to the Pitta Khichari, we recommend fennel, kale, spinach, chard, carrots, zucchini, okra, broccoli, daikon radish, sweet potato, asparagus.
The Healing and Detox Benefits of Khichari
excerpt from What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen, by Divya Alter (Rizzoli, 2017)
- It’s a complete protein. There is no coincidence that the combination of rice and beans has been a staple around the world for thousands of years. Grains and legumes contain partial amino acids on their own. When eaten together (as in khichari), rice and beans provide all the essential amino acids for nutritionally sustainable meals, perfect for those on a plant-based diet.
- It helps burn body fat while keeping blood sugar stable. Many water fasts or juice cleanses strain and deplete blood sugar reserves, which can make you extremely hungry or irritable and give you severe headaches. While one of the goals of a fast is to shift the body into fat-burning metabolism, this will not happen if the body is under stress and strain as a result of an extreme fast. On a khichari cleanse day, you are eating a delicious complete protein dish three times a day, so there is no starvation response whatsoever. Dr. John Douillard, a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner and author, advises us that if we are straining or hungry during a cleanse, we are not getting the optimal benefits. The more comfortable we are, the more fat we will burn (if we need to burn fat, that is).
- It’s nourishing yet easy to digest. White basmati rice, quinoa, and yellow split mung dal are easy to assimilate, placing less of a burden on digestion. It is especially important to use them rather than the other bean options during a cleanse because the metabolism slows down and the digestive strength weakens when cleansing. Heavier brown rice, chana dal, red lentils, or mung beans with the husks may irritate the intestinal wall and cause digestive gas or abdominal pain.
- It helps heal the gut. As it is so easy to digest, khichari heals and soothes the intestinal wall. Stress can often irritate the gut and compromise digestion, which will then make the body more clogged with toxins from indigestion. Eating just khichari allows much of the digestion to be at rest while providing the nutrition needed to heal the gut and nourish the body.
- It supports spiritual practice. The adequate protein and stable blood sugar that khichari offers can facilitate feelings of inner peace and stillness. For this reason, khichari is often served in ashrams and monasteries to support spiritual practitioners’ access to deeper states of mental clarity, emotional tranquility, and enlightenment through meditation.
I was blown away by how delicious this kitchari is (just like the other types – I tried them all). Immediately it's a pantry must-have, along with the ghee and the cranberry sauce!
I love having an instant kitchri kit that has all the elements of good health packed in one bag. So easy to use and very delicious. It takes out the guessing game of what to put into a dish that can improve your health. Love this idea and love making them for rushed meal plans.
I have been making the various kichari recipes from What To Eat For How You Feel for about three years now, with great satisfaction and success. I'm not about to give that up because I enjoy the process, but I really did enjoy making this after a long week of extended holiday work, and not wanting a lot of fuss in the kitchen. It was somehow better than what I usually make - thank you, Divya!
Divya's ready to cook kitchari packs are insanely delicious. I ordered mine and it came super fast. The freshness is just as perfect as if you were eating a hot bowl in Divya's Kitchen. I am SO happy these are available & I cannot wait to order more!
Not a strong taste on the tongue but very enticing aroma.