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 discovered this three months ago on Facebook and it has been a lifesaver for me. Having gastrointestinal issues, this is the perfect solution to eating soothing, healthy meals when I don't feel good but need to eat, and not too spicy for my stomach. I prepare the entire package, adding pieces of fresh asparagus, lentil, and sliced fresh mushrooms. Before serving, I sprinkle fresh herbs from the lentil bulb and fresh basil leaves. The leftovers are put in the refrigerator and refreshed with a small amount of good-quality chicken bone broth and heated in the microwave for dinners and lunches. Delicious dinner is served in 18 minutes with leftovers for several more meals. When I break the cost down to the number of meals in a package, it's actually very inexpensive.
This pitta khichari exceeded all of my expectations. While I anticipated a blander dish since the product description is "mild," I was very wrong and discovered the khichari to be savory, balanced in flavor, and delicious. The meal was also quite filling for vegetarian fare, which, as an active person, usually leaves me hungry not long after eating. Thank you Divya's Kitchen for offering this product with nationwide shipping! I can't wait to try the other flavors.
I bought this to try it out since I'll be traveling in the future and wanted an easy option for a hotel stay. I used this when I forgot to soak my beans and rice and was in desperate need of a quick lunch. This did the trick and was more delicious than anything I could have quickly prepared. I added some broccoli and green beans to it and it was nourishing and fulfilling. I will definitely be ordering more of these in the future, even just to have on hand when I'm in a bind with time.
I don't usually eat packaged food, but it is with great exception that I eat Divya's Khichari mixes. The Pitta mix may be my favorite. The flavors are so delicious. I mix it was veggies from the farmer's market for a wonderful summer meal.
I was hesitant to order because it’s somewhat expensive and shipping is a lot, but I love the flavor! I’m on a limited diet, so it makes for an easy lunch.