As I had detailed in Metta Blog 15, Spring is the hardest season on our bodies because of the transition from a heating system during winter to a cooling system in Spring. Ayurveda, the Indian medicinal science, has recognized this transition in its health regimes for at least 3000 years. From this traditional health system, we have loads of tools and techniques to take care of ourselves and avoid the discomfort of this transition. (Please read Metta Blog 14 for the first 3 self care techniques.)
Self Care Point #5 – Kitchadi – The Meal that Soothes
At the core of Ayurvedic nutritional healing are stews/soups called Kichadis. (They are also called Kitcharis in India.) These simple stews of Basmati rice and Spilt Green Mung dal beans are suitable of all body constitutions. They benefit us because the combination of ingredients create a perfect protein that is easy to digest. Plus, they allow energy to be redirected to our liver and spleen for Spring cleaning (thinning our blood system). For these reasons, Kichadis are the primary food in Panchakarma (Ayurvedic digestive resetting) regimes to cleanse or heal the organ system. Kichadis come in a variety of forms depending on the herbs, spices and vegetables used. Here is one recipe to help your Spring transition.
Cleansing Kitchadi – Great as a lunch or evening meal.
1/2 cup of Basmati rice
1 cup Split Green Mung Dal with skins
6 – 10 cups of water
2 black cardamon pods
4 crushed gloves of garlic
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp of fenugreek powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 inch of ginger root grated
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
pinch of nutmeg
Salt to taste
Garnish: Try a combination of any of these garnishes.
Garam Masala, ghee, Ground flax seed or sprigs of parsley/coriander
Wash the rice and dal in water until the water is clear. Place all ingredients in together in pot and fill with water 2 centimeters above the ingredients. Bring the ingredients to a boil, stir and then reduce cooking temperature to medium-low. Cover and cook until the stew is tender. Remember to occasionally stir so the ingredients do not burn to the bottom of the pot. Plus, add water whenever you want. Some people prefer this recipe as a soup. So simply add more water to reach a desired soupy consistency.
When serving, garnish with any or all the garnish suggestions. Also serve Kitchadi with a green salad or steamed greens (such as broccoli or kale). Have this meal as much as you want to soothe your digestion and help with your body transition in Spring. Enjoy!
Recipe makes 4 – 6 servings.
Be Well and in Metta,