Whether at your best or worst, kitchari is the ideal food for you. It is sometimes referred to as Indian comfort food but it is also one of the most gentle foods for cleansing and a great first food for children. While it can be made with other grains or legumes, the most popular and balanced recipe for all body types is the one made with mung beans and basmati rice.
Why are the specific ingredients such as white basmati rice and mung recommended?
Basmati is a long grain rice. Long grain rice that has the husk removed has a lower glycemic index than other kinds of of rice. It is also lighter to digest compared to other varieties of rice yet highly nutritious.
Split yellow mung beans are the least vata increasing and gas producing bean used in Ayurvedic recipes. This is why it is recommended during all seasons. The difference between the yellow beans with the husk removed and the green mung is that the husk is slightly harder to digest and can increase gas in some with delicate digestive systems. Also, I personally believe that yellow mung beans makes a more palatable batch.
Combining these two ingredients provides a complete protein which means that your body gets the fuel it needs to have sustained energy throughout the day. You can use it for gentle, slow weight loss combined with proper movement excersise based on your body type, Also you can use it to cleanse your digestive tract after making poor food choices, and it will not make you feel weak or lack luster like other restrictive diets.
What about ghee?
Ghee is sweet and cooling. It is known to increase immunity, strength and intellect. After meals, it also helps in feeling satisfied for longer when used in the proper amount like in this recipe.
And the spices?
The spices that I always use are hing, cumin and turmeric. Cumin acts as an appetizer, digestive, slows intestinal growths and it prevents abdominal distention. Turmeric enhances complexion, relieves skin diseases, blood diseases, swelling, anemia and more. Hing while relatively unknown in the USA is a taste promoter and is a powerful medicine for spasms, pains, intestinal growths, abdominal diseases, distention and worms. Himalayan rock salt is the salt of choice for this recipe. It is less heating than other kinds of popular salts, it enhances taste perception, is a digestive and acts as an appetizer.
Depending on season, one may add fennel seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fresh ginger, black cumin, etc. It should be tasty, comforting, warming to the stomach and not bland. If it’s bland then you should add more spices or salt. If you aren't excited about the taste of something, the early stages of digestion will be hampered and you won't even get the full health benefit of the meal.