Winter/Spring Kitchari- Your key to a HEALTHY cleanse

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 8.39.55 PM


In the winter many of us eat foods that are richer in fat, we might put on a couple pounds due to the “comforting” foods. Many of us are tempted by the idea of a “cleanse” to jump start our spring. Maybe you have heard of “The Master Cleanse” or other juice diets and fad diets that call themselves a cleanse. Personally, I cannot nor do I want to take 3-10 days off from masticating. The tactile pleasure I have from eating food is key to my culinary experience. So, what can someone do who prefers to eat, but still would like to slough off stagnant toxins and fat?

Ayurveda suggests this hearty dish made of basmati rice, mung dal, and aromatic Indian herbs; because it is super easy to digest, highly nourishing, and purifying, it is the ideal food for cleansing an overworked digestive system clogged up by fats and chemical-laden processed foods. It is no wonder that so many cultures use rice and beans as a staple!


Yields 4 servings

1 cup white basmati rice
1 cup split mung beans
1 tablespoon ghee
1 /4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 /4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 /4 teaspoon turmeric
1 /4 teaspoon rock salt or sea salt
4 cups water

1. Rinse the rice and mung beans until the water is clear.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Stir a moment until the seeds pop.
3. Add the rice, mung beans, turmeric, and salt, and stir until well blended with the spices.
4. Add the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
5. Turn down the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Learn more:

Ayurveda, the Indian “science of life”, is an ancient system of healing that sees health as our birthright. We are made of elements that create health when well-balanced and disease when imbalanced. Ayurveda’s goal is to help us help ourselves to re-balance and restore health.

To that end it teaches a proactive approach to avoiding illness: fresh food, daily exercise, relaxation/stress reduction, and regular cleansing. According to ayurveda, the five elements (space, air, fire, water, and earth) manifest in each of us in a unique way to give us our physical and mental qualities. These five basic elements then combine into three constitutions or doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha.

The unique combination of the three doshas in each individual has a specific influence on our physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. Determining which dosha(s) are dominant can help you to make the right diet and lifestyle choices that will maintain balance and promote health and well-being on all levels.

See what your Dosha is Click here to take the quiz.

I have seen an Ayurvedic nutritionist, located in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Her name is Rebecca Deitzel and she is also a biochemist from Columbia University. Her insights and suggestions have been extremely helpful to me. You can contact her here

What I love most about following the suggestions of Ayurveda is the direction to eat seasonal foods. It is confusing to our bodies to be eating foods that are not ripe and not indigenous. We live in a time when we can have raspberries from Chile at any time of the year. Many of these foods are genetically modified and lose their healthy qualities, not to mention- their flavor. John Douillard has seasonal shopping lists on his website. Spring shopping list

Another wonderful element about making this Kitchari is that you can make enough for the week and heat it up as you need it. Sauté some seasonal greens- well cooked- and add this too to your meal!


Abby Kaufmann
Abby Kaufmann
Abby fell in love with yoga at Kripalu, which led to a 200-hr teacher training at Yoga High in New York’s Lower East Side. With a seeker’s mind, whose appetite had just been whetted, she signed up for the follow-up advanced 300-hr training. Abby’s diverse education includes a Bachelor’s degree in social work and certifications as a Health Coach, Pilates teacher and Karuna Reiki master. Set up an appointment with Abby today

Comments are closed.