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Revive Your Energy with a Nourishing Bowl of Cleansing French Lentil Kitchari

Updated: Apr 26

This greenish-grey hued lentil is a 2,000-year-old powerhouse of flavor and nutrition. Known as Puy lentils from the Auvergne region, this timeless lentil is perfect for a grounding and hearty cool and cold weather kitchari cleanse.

Kitchari is a perfect food--it's food as medicine at its best. Easy to digest, this complete Ayurvedic meal is respected as a gentle detox, rebalancer of the doshas, and optimizer of the digestive system. Kitchari is cleansing, nourishing, and it balances all the doshas. Ready to learn about what kitchari is and how to detox Ayurveda style? Let’s dig in!

French lentil kitchari

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Transform Your Health with Cleansing French Lentil Kitchari

What Is Kitchari?


You may have seen it written several ways—kitchari, kichdi, khichdee, and khichri…by any spelling, this traditional Ayurvedic cleansing food is a simple, delicious cleansing food—it is the epitome of food is medicine. Kitchari is a simple, cleansing food.

 

Let’s face it, we’re reading about wellness and health topics because we’re stressed and we want (and need) to be healthier. Yet, we’re bombarded with confusing information and that alone is stressful. Modern diet trends, one-size -fits-all approaches--let’s ditch the stress, and learn how to balances the doshas with this wonderful one pot meal.


What Is Kitchari exactly? It’s little beans and aromatic white basmati rice and spices (aka digestive supporting herbs that taste yummy.) Kitchari is plant based and gluten free.


Why use white basmati rice?


Simple--because it is the easiest to digest. When we're cleansing, foods need to be as easy to digest as possible to give the digestive system a rest, to break down the food well, and so the body can use the energy it saves to rejuvenate and repair.


There are alternatives used depending on individual needs such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, barley, etc., but white basmati is the grain typically used.


Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today.


spoons with colorful spices

What is the role of spices in kitchari?


Spices make food taste delicious, and they are digestive herbs that boost your digestion. Which spices are supportive for individual digestion varies. Under the ingredient list below are spices that support each dosha.


glass jar of ghee and a wooden spoon

What's the role of ghee in kitchari?


Ghee balances the digestive fire without aggravating the doshas. For high cholesterol or other health concerns, olive oil can be substituted.


Psst--Vegetables can be added to kitchari for flavor and fiber.


bowls of brightly colored lentils

What Are the Benefits of Kitchari?


Kitchari provides many benefits, and it’s a key Ayurveda food as medicine tool. It’s healing to the digestive system, it's cleansing, and it's balancing to all three doshas- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.


How Is Kitchari Cleansing?


  • The ingredients are easy to digest

  • The astringent quality draws out toxins (ama) from the digestive system

  • Kitchari improves digestion, absorption, and elimination

  • Kitchari spices support healthy agni (digestive fire)

  • Kitchari helps remove toxins (ama)

 

"Think of kitchari as a mouth-watering, porridge like thick soup, that doubles as a healthy, cleansing comfort food. It doesn't get better than that!"

-Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


woodblock spelling out helpful tips

Spices are Ayurvedic Digestive Herbs


Digestive herbs support balanced digestive fire, help assimilate and absorb nutrients and support healthy elimination. Make sure your spices are fresh. For dried herbs and spices, the shelf life is about a year, although the exact length depends on the quality of the spice (how fresh was it at the time of purchase) and how the spice has been stored.


Rancid, depleted spices should be replaced. Spices are digestive herbs that help us digest, assimilate and eliminate foods properly which, according to Ayurveda, is fundamental to good health.

Dried French lentils

Ingredients:


  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (Vata can use more oil due to its dry nature), or 1-2 Tablespoons ghee

  • 1 cup Le Puy/French lentils, soaked at least 1 hour (or overnight), then drained

  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained

  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Red Aleaen sea salt (or other good quality salt)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups chopped kale, large stems removed

  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • 1 tablespoon tamari (this really brings a depth to the Puy lentils.)

  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions:

  • Wash rice and lentils.

  • Soak for about three hours. Drain and rinse the lentils and rice well. (If it's easier, you can soak the lentils overnight.)

  • If you have an Instapot use the pressure cooking setting.

  • If you have a pressure cooker, use that.

  • Otherwise, in a pot, warm ghee (or your best oil) over heat until it melts.  

  • Add the spices and coat them with the ghee, sauté for about a minute.

  • Next, add rice and lentils and sauté for a few minutes ensuring they are coated with the ghee and spices.

  • If you’re using vegetables, add them now and sauté for a minute.

  • Now add 6 cups of water and bring it all to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low. (Keep an eye on it and adjust the temperature as needed. Your heat source, type of pot, elevation influence the cooking process, but not to worry, this is pretty easy stuff.)

  • Cover and cook until everything is (really) tender and brothy, porridge like consistency. (approximately 30–45 minutes).

  • Add more water to prevent scorching, if needed.

  • Add salt to taste.


woman holding fresh herbs

"Turn your food into medicine by learning how to adjust any recipe to optimize the dosha balancing and health benefits." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


Tweak Our Ayurveda Recipe to Match Your Doshic Picture


Follow these easy modifications and provide yourself with a meal that becomes medicine by balancing the doshas.


How to customize this recipe to balance Vata


For spicing for Vata, the overall spiciness is important to help aid in digestion. Don't hold back as Vata types tend to have weaker digestion and this time of year lean towards being easily chilled with the hallmark cold hands and feet and constipation. Stoke that digestive fire with spices! Spices are digestive herbs that support healthy digestion, assimilation, and elimination and support overall dosha balance.


How to customize this recipe to balance Pitta

For Pitta, optimize this recipe by adding more cilantro for its cooling qualities which balance Pitta dosha.


How to customize this recipe to balance Kapha


Kapha needs to be invigorated, especially during Kapha season, as it may tend to be slow, sluggish, and dull. To customize the recipe for Kapha dosha--turn up the heat. Add more ginger and freshly ground black peppercorns. Consider adding a nice hot chili. In general, add more volume of spice to support Kapha's slower digestive process.


bowl of soup

How Do I Know If I Have a Dosha Imbalance?

Look at these comprehensive and convenient lists of signs and symptoms of dosha imbalances.

As we are all comprised of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, there can be an imbalance in any of the doshas, or a combination of dosha imbalances. Read all three lists and see if anything looks familiar.



Saumya Ayurveda logo

How To Do An Ayurveda Cleanse?


There are several approaches. Here's some knowledge to get going with home Ayurveda detox with simple practices we can do daily that transform how we feel.


Ayurveda Cleansing Info For Body, Mind, and Spirit


Food as Medicine:


Emotional Cleansing:


Ayurveda Cleansing Treatments:


Spiritual Cleansing:


To learn more about our customized seasonal cleanses, click here.


 

“I was looking for a home cleansing program and Saumya Ayurveda delivered! I work full time, have a family, sports, commute, --and this cleanse was manageable! I had such a positive cleanse experience; I plan to do it again and I have it on my planner already." 

- A.B., White Bear Lake, MN


Saumya Ayurveda's 3 steps for transforming your daily life with image of a woman meditating by a lake

Creating a relaxed mind before eating is key to good digestion, absorption, and elimination. Perform our 2-minute meditation (or make it one minute if needed), before your meals and snacks. It relaxes the nervous system, is grounding, and having a calm mind is the first step to good digestion and enjoying your food.


There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.


"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."

- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.


2. Free Daily Guided Practices: 11 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as anchors of your daily Ayurveda routine.




"Choose a couple of practices from the Ayurveda routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


 

"Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”

-Molly Rossini, Minnesota



notepad wtith client testimonials

“I feel so lucky to have found Veena. Her care and diligence have really made a positive difference in my wellbeing in ways that I never even expected. She is careful to not cause overwhelm when prescribing lifestyle changes and I’ve found that even the simple changes make a difference. Her excitement about Ayurveda is infectious and I’m excited to continue my healing with her as a guide.”

--Sophia Keller

 

“All is well here thanks to Veena and my Saumya Ayurveda plan which has been gently integrated in my daily routines. I love to start my day with cooked apples, detox tea and herbs. Your 2-Minute Meditation throughout the day helps a lot as well. Being gentle with myself is such a great help.”

-E.A., North Carolina

 

 

“Veena is a treasure of wisdom, support, and encouragement. I have made such progress since working with Veena. Her advice is transformational. In every single conversation and email I learned such valuable information and gained tools that are helping me be my best and healthiest self. I am so grateful I discovered Veena and took the leap to work with her.”

-Jenny Hubbard, New Jersey


 

“It is with great pleasure that I write this review! Working with Veena has remarkably changed my life – even in the places I was unaware that it demanded to be changed! Throughout the course of four months, Veena’s gentle and succinct approach allowed me to easily refine my routines into a more structured foundation that left me feeling more in graceful governance with myself – emotionally and physically.


Not only had she brought forth awareness in how I prepare/relate to the food I eat, but she also prescribed me wonderful herbs to help calm my anxiety, detox my liver, and heal the ugly night sweats I’ve been experiencing due to hormonal imbalances.


Lastly, her guided meditations are a great grounding force, and I have since continued to explore the euphoric benefits of Yoga Nidra.


Veena is a well of divine knowledge, and her humor and light will be eternally appreciated!”

--Rachel Monson, Wisconsin

 

“Working with Veena is incredible. She sees the possibilities that lay dormant in us and is so patient and kind in sharing her wisdom and tools to help birth those possibilities. As Ayurveda is a living science, it takes conviction and discipline to change habits, to live a different reality.


Veena makes navigating the changes smooth and meaningful, inspiring at every meeting, letting me know that, YES, changes are happening! Thank you, Veena. Many blessings!”

-Kyle Sangster, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Revive Your Energy with a Nourishing Bowl of Cleansing French Lentil Kitchari today.

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Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way


We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.


Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.


Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.


Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.


Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.


Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories

Veena at Saumya Ayurveda

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.


She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.


Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.


These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.


She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.


An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.


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