What is Khichdi?
In its traditional form, Khichdi consists of mung beans (moong dal) or lentils, cooked with rice (or buckwheat), vegetables and mild Indian spices and can vary greatly depending on the region.
It is considered one of the most healing meals in Ayurveda because it is tri-doshic; balancing all three doshas. Very nourishing and easy to digest, it generally does not create any abdominal discomfort, like gas or bloating.
This Khichdi recipe is made with soaked mung beans or lentils and toasted buckwheat, also known as Kashi, (or sub rice) and your choice of cleansing vegetables like carrots, celery, fennel, cauliflower, broccoli or kale and flavorful Indian spices.
It’s delicious and healthy and what I personally love about this dish, is how satisfied I feel after eating it, without feeling too heavy. It gives me energy and stamina all day long and I find at dinner time, I am less ravenous, and better able to make wiser decisions as far as what to eat, and how much.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that we should have our biggest meal of the day, when the sun is at its highest point–at lunchtime!
If you’ve read last week’s post on the Ayurvedic Detox Tea, you’ll know that I have been working on a two-week clean-eating guide for a reader who is struggling with illness. Wow… I had no idea so many of you would be interested in receiving this, but I guess it is the season! We could all use a little motivation to get back on track after the holidays.
If you would like a copy of the guide, just click the tab at the top of this page “Clean Eating Guide” and sign up. If you are already an email subscriber, there is a link in the weekly emails you already receive, at the top.
The star of this dish, are little mung beans. But don’t let their diminutive size fool you– they are surprisingly packed full of nutrients and the list of health benefits to the body is endless.
A tip: soaking mung beans in water overnight will double their size (right side), cut their cooking time in half and increase their digestibility. Sprouted mung beans are exceptionally good for you.
For more on the super amazing power of mung beans….read this.
Doing a “cleanse” doesn’t have to be drastic. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to starve. You don’t have purge. You don’t have to be on a juice fast the whole time. It can actually be a very a gentle, holistic and energizing. At least that’s how I like to do it. The menu plan I’m working on, is rich in fruits and veggies, low in sugar, white flour, fats and processed food.
It’s based on the idea that our bodies are like filters. They take in all that we give them, absorb what is needed then hopefully filter out the rest. But sometimes the filters get clogged up with muck, and stop working as efficiently as they used to. We stop burning fat as we used to, and our metabolisms become sluggish. Our arteries clog up.
Eating cleanly for a period of time, can actually reverse this, and assist the body in catching up with its inner cleaning, and do what it naturally wants to do – shed and filter out what’s not needed for it to be healthy.
Giving ourselves a rest from rich, fatty, sugary, processed and or nutrient-poor foods, allows our bodies time to restore itself and focus on the task at hand, healing itself, without being overburdened from what else is coming in. It’s almost like pushing the reset button.
After a few weeks of rest, the digestive fire will start burning again. The metabolism will become more efficient, and energy levels will increase. Skin will clear up and glow. You will feel good.
So setting aside a period of 3-7 days, perhaps making this Khichdi recipe – is a very simple way to reset the body and give it some much-needed rest.
Where ever this finds you, may you feel hopeful and excited about this coming New Year — open to the possibilities that haven’t even been imagined yet. Create, along with me, a little space for the mystery to unfold, without too many plans – a clear open field to let life show up, in its own wise and perfect way.
Cheers and love. All the best to you this New Year!
A simple cleansing recipe for Khichdi ( or Khichuri) -an Indian, comfort food from the Ayurvedic tradition that helps sooth and heal the body.
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tsp whole mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp curry powder, more to taste
- 1 small dried red chili pepper, crumbled(or half for less spicy)
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup split mung beans, split lentils (or whole mung beans or whole lentils- soaked overnight)
- ½ cup toasted buckwheat (kashi) or (soaked, brown basmati rice)
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 2 cups chopped vegetables ( like carrot, parsnips, celery, fennel bulb, cauliflower, broccoli)
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
- squeeze lemon or lime
- 1 diced tomato
- In a medium pot, saute onion in oil over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium add ginger and garlic, and saute a few minutes, until golden and fragrant.
- Add spices, pepper, salt and stirring, toast for a few more minutes. Add soaked mung beans and buckwheat or soaked brown rice. Add water, broth and 2 cups chopped veggies bring to a good boil. Cover. Turn heat to low, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Check for doneness.
- Continue cooking for 5 to 10 more minutes if necessary. Some rice takes longer, and if you do not pre-soak your whole mung beans, or brown rice, you will need to add more water, which will change the recipe proportions and flavor…so try to soak if possible.
- Once it is done, taste and adjust salt and seasonings. If you like a more “porridge-like” consistancy add more veggie broth.
- Spoon into bowls, top with fresh diced tomato and fresh cilantro or parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
- A drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the tomatoes is nice too.
Soaking the beans (or lentils) helps with digestibility and also shortens the cooking time in half. I highly recommend soaking. 🙂 If using brown rice, make sure to pre-soak for a few hours or overnight to help shorten the cooking time.
If you prefer your khichdi more like a porridge (which is traditional in parts of India) feel free to add warm veggie broth to get it to the consistency you like.
Keywords: Khichuri, Khichdi, Khichdi recipe, ayurvedic recipes, Khichidi recipe,