Learn How to Make Kitchari with Full Moon Ghee

Want to learn how to make kitchari? This Indian dish is becoming increasingly well known for its unique ability to cleanse and heal the digestive tract, while providing nourishment and satisfaction. Once you know how to make kitchari, and have experienced the benefits of kitchari firsthand, it may become a regular part of your diet. Basic kitchari is made with split yellow mung beans, white basmati rice, spices, and ghee. You can keep your kitchari simple, or spruce it up with vegetables, fresh herbs and other toppings. Keep reading to learn how to make kitchari!

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Simple Ingredients for Cleansing and Healing

Soaked mung beans and white basmati rice are the easily-digested foundation of kitchari. Eating such simple food can give the digestive tract a chance to rest, and these ingredients are also said to be gently cleansing to the organs of digestion. The spices added to kitchari — cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger — are known for their digestion-stimulating properties. Ghee is a food revered in the Ayurvedic tradition for promoting digestive health, and for delivering the nourishment contained in other ingredients deep into the body’s tissues. Here at Full Moon Ghee, we make the most delicious ghee using butter from happy New England cows. Our ghee is infused with the auspicious energies of the full moon, chants and prayers. Once you read our instructions for how to make kitchari, check out our online shop to view all the sizes and flavors of ghee we offer, and order your own jar of Full Moon Ghee!

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What is a Kitchari Cleanse?

One popular use for kitchari is the kitchari cleanse. For anywhere from one to seven days, you would eat only kitchari, as well as drink plenty of water and herbal tea, if you like. Ayurveda teaches that food is most beneficial and nutritious when it has been freshly prepared. While cleansing, you would make a fresh batch of kitchari first thing each morning. You would eat only kitchari throughout the day, as often as you felt hungry.

It is traditional to undertake a kitchari cleanse during the transition from winter to spring (to help the body expel winter accumulation), and from summer to fall (to help the body expel excess heat from the summer). Kitchari is also a great way to rest the digestive system after indulgence or when not feeling well.

Our Kitchari Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup split yellow mung beans (available in the Indian section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 5-6 cups water or broth
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and ginger powder
  • A pinch of hing (asafetida), optional
  • 1-2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional Toppings

  • Fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Dollop of yogurt
  • Extra melted ghee
  • Cooked vegetables

Steps

  1. The night before you make your kitchari, place split mung beans in a medium bowl and fill the bowl with water. Let beans soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In the morning, drain the beans and rinse well in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Also rinse the basmati rice thoroughly.
  3. In a large pot, place 5 cups of water or broth and bring to a boil. Add the beans, rice, and ground spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and hing, if using. Stir gently to distribute spices. When the pot comes back to the boil, turn the heat down to low, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, check to see if the rice and mung bean mixture has absorbed most of the liquid. If it has, add up to one cup of water or broth to cover the mixture again. Kitchari should be soft and soup-like in texture. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. While the kitchari is cooking, melt the ghee in a small skillet. When ghee is hot, add whole cumin, coriander and fennel seeds and fry 1-3 minutes, until fragrant, being careful not to burn the seeds.
  6. Add the ghee and spices to the kitchari, along with 1 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes longer.
  7. Serve kitchari hot, with or without toppings!

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