By: Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Chavi Morawiec
When I think about khichari, memories of my grandma dance around me with the aroma of homemade ghee (from her neighbour’s cow milk!), toasted cumin and the oh so beautiful scent of basmati rice. She is gone but she left an indelible taste of homemade comfort food. And that’s exactly what Khichari is for me… Comfort. My mother would make it for us when we were sick or during cool season when warmth was much desired or after stuffing ourselves at a wedding- we all know how Indian weddings can leave is feeling full and bloated. Did you know it is one of the best ways to cleanse and detox through food? Its revered in Ayurveda – for a good reason. You see rice and lentils/ or beans provide complete proteins to our bodies.
While juicing or fasting may be a preferred way to detox for many, not everyone can restrict or refrain from eating. Especially those with blood sugar or pressure issue. For them, eating Khichari can be the best way to cleanse.
Here are some reasons why this mixture is a great way to cleanse/ detox.
Rich in Vitamin C, Mung beans help pull heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides from the cells. This means your gut can restore itself and create a healthier environment for the good bacteria to thrive.
Long grain like Basmati rice is easily digested! Make sure to add more water, as the rice absorbs it quickly, and khichari should be thin and runny.
Khichari is full of fibre which helps clean the intestinal wall. It’s like gently brushing the wall and getting rid of the stuck on garbage. During this process it also soothes the intestinal wall.
Mung beans release carbohydrates slowly, ensuring consistent energy throughout the day.
The rice and lentils in Khichari provide complete protein. Together they have all the essential amino acids.
It has an anti-aging effect on the body- in just three days; your body can feel cleaned and rejuvenated.
Mung Dal is considered Sattvic which means it helps to directly cultivate peace, clarity and contentment in the mind.
How To Detox & Cleanse With Khichari:
Eat Khichari for breakfast, Lunch and dinner. You may have some Organic tea blends to further aid cleansing. If you get really hungry, you may have small bowl of khichari as a snack.
Eat Organic as much as possible! Before starting any detox or cleanse- make sure to discuss with your healthcare provider. This specific cleanse is not recommended for anyone with constipation issue.
Alternatively, work with a Nutritionist to figure out the best way to cleanse for your body. It is always recommended to do your own research too. You can make this in advance and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Excess fibre can cause constipation, so it’s important to drink adequate water.
RECIPE FOR KHICHARI
1 Cup Organic split Mung Dal or yellow Split Moong Dal
3/4 Cup Organic Basmati Rice
6 Cups filtered water. (if you don’t have filtered water, boil and cool some water first)
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Cumin (Jeera)
1 Bay Leaf
2 Inch Ginger
1 Inch Cinnamon Bark (Optional)
2-3 TBSP Coconut Oil or Ghee
Wash rice and lentils well in cold water.
In a slow cooker, add washed rice, lentils, turmeric, Bay leaf, Ginger and Cinnamon. Fill it with water.
Set the cooker on high and leave it for 5-6 hours. Or on low for 6-8. Check often to make sure there is ample water. Add more if/ when needed.
The consistency should be runny and thin but not watery.
In another pan:
Add oil or ghee on medium heat.
Once the oil or ghee is warm, add cumin seeds. Wait till cumin seeds start sizzling.
You can also add finely chopped ginger and green chillies. Saute for 30 seconds or so or till ginger starts turning light golden brown in colour.
Add this mixture to the cooked Khichari!
Enjoy! Don’t forget to share pictures with us.
Chavi Morawiec is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto. She regularly contributes Alternative Health articles to The Bloom Living Blog and our social media channel – @bloomorganicbazaar.