I looooooove Ayurveda!
Ayurveda is the 5000 year old system of natural healing originating in India, and literally means “the science of life”. It is a comprehensive framework within which vibrant health can flourish … way more than just a system to treat illness.
Changing through the seasons, Ayurveda offers dietary and behavioral routines to balance and integrate the body, mind, and spirit with our environment. Different foods have different qualities and affect us in different ways at different times.
However, in Ayurvedic philosophy, one always wants to increase their intake of sattvic foods. These foods are soothing, nourishing and promote and maintain a quiet, steady mind, a sharp intellect and a greater sense of empathy. They are intended to improve every part of you, physical and esoteric.
One very classic and comforting sattvic food I’ve been enjoying lately is kitchari, meaning “mixture,” usually of two grains. The most common preparation combines basmati rice, yellow split peas (mung dal), spices, and whatever vegetables you may have at hand. Mine is a little different every time depending on what’s in the fridge.
It is nourishing, easily digested and can be eaten at any meal. Consider it a “reset” for your digestion, boosted with seasonings and spices that support good digestion, healthy blood flow, increased immunity, and more.
In fact, eat it to replace all meals for a few days straight, and it’s the gentlest cleanse you’ll ever do.
And it’s comforting and yummy too! Win win!
- 8 cups filtered water
- 1 cup yellow split peas (mung dal)
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 3-4 cups any chopped veggie you like (today I used leeks, carrots, napa cabbage, celery, and spinach)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or 1 Tbsp dry ground)
- 1 inch fresh turmeric, peeled and minced (or 1 Tbsp dry ground)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, or any oil of choice
- a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
Measure out mung dal and rice into a strainer and rinse . Place in pot, add water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
Meanwhile, chop and measure vegetables and cumin, coriander, fennel, ginger, and turmeric. Add to pot, bring back up to a boil, turn it down and resume a covered simmer. Stir occasionally.
Allow to simmer 30-45 minutes until split peas are somewhat softened. Remove from heat and stir in sea salt, ghee or other oil of choice, and cilantro.
This makes enough for me to eat for three to four meals. It’s easy to reheat, but the energetic benefits of the food are truly highest when it is freshly cooked.