by Shrishthi Brahmarupa
Kitchiri is an ancient Indian vegetarian dish which can be customized to suit your needs. It’s a breeze to make, easy to digest and highly nourishing. I consume kitchiri on days when I do my yoga kriyas (cleansing) so that my digestive system can have a break while getting rid of accumulated toxins (called ama in Ayurveda).
This is my personal recipe. I recommend kitchri when you feel your digestion has become unbalanced, i.e. food poisoning, bloating, gas or general indigestion.
3/4 cup Basmathi rice
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp ground turmeric
2-3 dried cloves
½ tsp fennel
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/4 cup yellow lentils
* Makes 2 – 4 servings.
10 – 12 fresh curry leaves
1. Wash the rice well in plenty of water. Drain well, then put the washed rice into a rice cooker. Wash the lentils, then pour enough boiling water to cover them. Leave the lentils to soak for 2 minutes, then drain and give them a quick rinse. Add the lentils to the rice cooker.
2. Add the water and all other ingredients, except the ghee and curry leaves.
3. Switch on the rice cooker and wait till the rice is cooked. If you prefer your kitchiri to have a porridge-like consistency, add in ½ to 1 cup of water and allow to cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes.
4. Once the rice is cooked, switch the cooker off and remove the lid. Then, add the curry leaves and ghee while the rice is still hot. Stir well, then quickly replace the cooker lid and allow to stand for 5 minutes (to allow the curry leaves to cook slightly in the steam).
5. Serve hot.
- This dish can be made in larger quantities and stored in the freezer. To reheat frozen kitchiri, sprinkle generously with water before microwaving.
- Ghee may be replaced with any good-quality vegetable oil of choice for a vegan version.
- Regular table salt can be used in place of Himalayan pink salt.
- Onions and garlic may be added if a purely sattvic dish isn’t required.
- Replace the mushrooms with a different vegetable such as cauliflower for a purely sattvic dish.
- The dried spices promote internal cleansing and healing. The internal organs (specifically the liver and bowels) are gently stimulated to eliminate toxins and decomposing matter from processed foods.
- The ghee provides the body with lubrication and moisturizing properties.
- Curry leaves promote and enhance the growth of hair, and prevents premature greying and hair loss.
- Lentils provide protein to ensure a balanced meal.