Ayurveda translates to the science of life, the two main principles being that the body and mind are inextricably intertwined, and when it comes to healing the body, nothing is more powerful than the mind. Ayurveda is an ongoing, highly individualized study of finding inner harmony through the balance of the elements and the cycles of nature. Our bodies are constantly receiving, processing and digesting information from external sources, from the people we interact with, the information we consume, the weather, time of year, geographic location, etc. We are constantly evolving due to the influence of these elements, each season we experience shifts internally and externally, so our diet and lifestyle must evolve in order to maintain balance and tranquility.
The practice of doing seasonal cleanses is a vital way to stay in tune with ourselves, the seasons, and the course of our life. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate, a simple Ayurvedic detox targets the digestive system, aiming towards resetting and balancing Agni, our digestive fire. A spring and fall cleanse can be a powerful way to help the body return to homeostasis, establish clarity around manifestations, and deepen internal awareness.
If you google Kitchari recipes, there are about a million different options to choose from, I’m of the mentality that simplicity is best. Lots of people use mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds, but I’ve found over the years that this is the recipe that works best for how my kitchen is stocked and my flavor palate. Just note, you can add lots of combinations of spices to this recipe, Kitchari is essentially an umbrella term for grains and spices designed to soothe your digestive tract.
FALL KITCHARI RECIPE:
1 cup yellow mung dal (soaked overnight)
1 cup white basmati rice (soaked overnight)
1 1/2 cups bone broth (optional)
2-4 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or butter
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon pink sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsly ground black pepper
Rinse grains before soaking, then allow them to soak covered in water for 4-6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans and rice. Placing a large dutch oven or pot on the stove, heat a tablespoon of ghee, coconut oil or butter over the heat, add grains, stirring for a couple moments, add bone broth (if using) and 4-5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer until well cooked.
Before liquid has completely boiled away, heat a small skillet on medium high, add spices and ginger. Toast spices over heat with for a couple minutes but be careful not to burn, it’s important to not walk away during this step. Once your spices are toasted, add to grain mixture in dutch oven and stir thoroughly. To add a little more flavor, put a couple little scoops of ghee to the mixture. Ghee is rich, grounding, and a staple in Ayurveda. Allow remaining liquid to cook off.
For a thicker variation, cook until water is almost absorbed. For a soupier variation, continue adding water until desired consistency is reached. Season with extra salt as needed. Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a heaping handful of cilantro, mashed butternut squash, or toasted pumpkin seeds. My personal preference is a scoop of Kitchari, sautéed seasonal veggies, some micro greens, toasted pumpkin seeds and a little dollop of greek yogurt. I’m of the belief it makes a cleanse less boring and bland. Choose your own adventure, really listen to your body to help identify what is going to be the most soothing and grounding for you in the moment.