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Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding

Updated: Apr 19

Kitchari is a perfect food and during seasonal transitions—it is food as medicine at its best. Kitchari has the qualities that balance Vata dosha—warm, moist, grounding and soothing.

Ayurvedic Recipe: Vata Soothing Kichari for cleansing and grounding

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Vata Soothing 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 ground Vata.


What Is Kitchari Exactly?


It’s split, washed (meaning the green husk is removed) mung dal (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.


Wondering if you have a Vata imbalance? Check out our Wild List of Vata Imbalances


bowl split hulled mung beans

Why use washed, split mung (moong) dal (dahl)?


Split washed mung is used because it to is easy to digest. Using the inner part of the mung bean, it has dry and astringent qualities which add to the cleansing effect. The astringent quality draws out toxins (ama) from the digestive tract lining. The fiber of mung dal and basmati rice aid in the removal of toxins out of the body.


White basmati rice combined with mung dal have all the amino acids to create a complete protein. That's a nutritionally powerful combination and it provides ample energy. Cleansing with kitchari is nourishing, rejuvenating--not depleting.


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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 are spices that support Vata digestion.


glass jar and spoon with ghee

What's the role of ghee in kitchari?


Ghee balances the digestive fire without aggravating Vata, so it's perfect for Vata kitchari. Ghee soothes the digestive tract, oleates it (coats it), counter balancing dryness in the body.


Vegetables can be added to kitchari for flavor and fiber, both of which benefit Vata dosha.


close up of basmati rice and split hulled mung kitchari

What Are The Benefits of Kitchari?


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


This nourishing, cleansing and easy to digest dish needs to be as dynamic as we are. As the dance of the doshas shifts, so may our kitchari change with the season, as part of an Ayurvedic cleanse, or to address a specific concern (lung kitchari, as an example).


For kitchari to optimally do its work, it needs to be simple, appealing, balancing to Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, aligned for you, the season, where you live, and tailored to your current condition. All of that’s good news because it means more variety.


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

 

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

-Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


This article is focused on Vata grounding kitchari. For our Pitta cooling kitchari recipe, click here, and for our Kapha invigorating kitchari, here you go.


Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding image Vata balancing digestivespices

Tweak this recipe to suit your doshic picture and based on your custom Saumya Ayurveda food program. Serve with roasted winter squash, drizzled with ghee and your Saumya sweet spice mix for optimal digestion. You'll be in heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white basmati rice

  • 1 cup organic yellow split, washed (hulled) mung bean

  • 4 cups water

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or your best oil from your food program

  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed

  • 1+ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 pinches hing (asafoetida)

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

Instructions:

  • Wash rice and split washed yellow mung dal.

  • Soak for about three hours. Drain and rinse the dal and rice well.

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

  • If you have a pressure cooker, use that.

  • Otherwise, in a pot, warm ghee over heat until it melts.  

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

  • Next, add rice and mung 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.

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

  • Add more water to prevent scorching, if needed.

  • Add salt to taste.

  • Garnish with our cleansing cilantro chutney.


jar with cilantro chutney

Ayurvedic Cilantro Chutney


Health Beneifts according to Ayurveda: Clears ama from the system. May remove heavy metals. Improves digestion. Make fresh and may be eated daily.


1. ½ c chopped fresh cilantro, wash thoroughly

2. ¼ teaspoon Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt

3. Fresh juice from ½ lime

4. ¼ cup water

5. ¼ cup raisins

6. ¼ teaspoon your Saumya savory spice mix

7. 1/3 cup raw cashews

8. Blend together in a small Cuisinart or Magic Bullet


fresh chopped clinatro


  1. May lower blood sugar. High blood sugar levels increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  2. Rich in immune boosting antioxidants.

  3. May lower heart disease risks.

  4. Anti-inflammatory properties may protect against brain diseases.

  5. Supports healthy gut and digestion.


Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding image fresh digestive spices

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 helps us digest, assimilate and eliminate foods properly which, according to Ayurveda, is fundamental to good health.


colorful block letters spelling out helpful tips

Make sure your spices are fresh. Remember, these spices are digiestive herbs so quality counts. 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 helps us digest, assimilate and eliminate foods properly which, according to Ayurveda, is fundamental to good health.


Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding image desk wtih notepad saying client testimonials

“I have been so fortunate to have been introduced to Veena by an amazing friend, and I absolutely want to share her information with you. I don't share a lot of people, but this woman is so dedicated to one’s health that it feels amazing to have her on my side.


he's truly a beautiful soul. She is helping me navigate all of my issues with perimenopause and I am so glad, as the herbs she has given me have not only boosted my immune system greatly, but have chilled my nervous system out." 

– S.J., Saudi Arabia

 

“Veena is absolutely incredible and so thorough. She made me feel comfortable and confident in myself and my ability to use food as medicine and to make needed changes in my life. Thank you!”

--A.A., Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

“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


 

“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


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

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



Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding image colorful globe

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.


Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding image 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.


Vata Soothing Kitchari: Cleansing and Grounding image Saumya Ayurveda pup named Vata

Vata joined the Saumya Ayurveda pack about a year ago. At first, his Vata was quite imbalanced. He was fearful, underweight, skittish, hand shy and anxious.


I worked with him slowly to gain his trust. Letting him come to me. Once vata dosha was grounded with the help of warm, moist food with ghee on it, Vata experienced trust and fear reduced, the door was wide open.

Now Vata is thriving. He has gained weight; he is trusting of (some) people and I am honored to be one of them. He loves to be pet--and he especially loves to have his big ears massaged. Vata is an absolute joy to have on the team.

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