If you’ve found that you just don’t like kitchari, don’t give up on it yet. There’s a lot you can do to make your kitchari delicious.
We will admit, kitchari can be bland especially when it’s prepared in it’s most basic form – rice and beans cooked to a mushy consistency.
We’ve tried several recipes and numerous variations of kitchari and we know that it doesn’t have to be boring. Plus it’s so incredibly beneficial.
Kitchari is amazing for resetting the digestive system, clearing out ama (accumulated toxins/mucus) and accumulated doshas (imbalances). It’s great to have when you’re under the weather or haven’t been eating as you should. It’s also the sole diet taken during Ayurvedic cleansing or panchakarma.
So what should you do when you don’t like kitchari?
If your practitioner has recommended kitchari to you and you don’t like kitchari, before making any adjustments to your given recipe please do consult with your practitioner. Always choose vegetables according to your doshic imbalance.
Add Condiments To Your Liking
When you’re ready to dine, try some of these on top of your kitchari.
A Squeeze of Lime
Lime acts like an aperitif. It encourages secretions to form which assists in the digestive process. It also brings out the kitchari’s natural flavors. Simply cut a lime into wedges and squeeze to your liking.
Top your kitchari with additional powdered spices to taste. Try these traditional spices: cumin seed powder (lemony, earthy), coriander seed powder (cooling, good for pitta) and fennel seed powder (sweet + freshening, like licorice).
Use a coffee grinder to grind these fresh for amazing taste. Store in glass shakers and leave on your kitchen table.
Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Cilantro is great for pitta dosha and adds some freshness to kitchari. To prepare cilantro, wash it thoroughly then remove the leaves and discard the stems. Chop the leaves finely and use immediately.
Coconut is also great for pitta and vata doshas. Coconut adds fiber and flavor to kitchari. Use fresh grated or dried coconut.
Vary The Texture
- Make with more water for a soupier kitchari.
- Make with less water for a heartier kitchari.
- Cook the rice and beans (dahl) separately and eat the dahl alone, without the rice
- Eat rice alone, season with the sauteed kitchari oil and spice mixture, or top with ghee and powdered spices of your choice
Switch Up The Lentil
Again, it’s best to check with your practitioner about which lentils are best for your diet at this time.
- Whole green mung is hearty, full of fiber and requires a thorough overnight soak in water before cooking.
- Split yellow mung is not as hearty as the green. It’s a little more delicate and makes a gentle, easy to digest kitchari. Split yellow mung should also be soaked before cooking.
Make A Kitchari Burger Or Croquettes
Kitchari burgers or croquettes are simple to make. Though these burgers and croquettes start to stray from the traditional form of kitchari, it’s a nice way to add some variety to a diet that includes kitchari often.
Start with a hearty kitchari (not soupy). Form into patties or balls and saute in a pan in oil. You may need to mix in a little flour to your kitchari as a binder. Enjoy topped with a vegetable puree or side vegetable.
Change The Spices Altogether
The traditional kitchari spices (ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel and mustard seeds) do have specific actions on your digestive system, so if the above suggestions don’t make your kitchari more palatable for your taste, consider changing the spices altogether (of course under the direction of your practitioner).
Try Italian spices like oregano, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary and you’ll make something similar in a way to risotto.
Southwestern spices (cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano, poblano pepper) may also be more appealing to you. Simply saute in oil as called for in your kitchari recipe. Just be mindful of spices that may be too hot and use them according to your dosha.
Basically there’s innumerable variations and no right or wrong way to have kitchari. If you don’t like kitchari, try some of these suggestions and make it as YOU want it so you can enjoy every bit of it.
Kitchari really is absolutely delicious.