(updated from June 2018)
The khichari cleanse is a simple and easy way to reset when you’ve overindulged. I love making khichari when I need to be gentle on my stomach and give it a cleanse after I pushed it too hard. It’s my way of saying to my stomach, I’m sorry for my transgressions, please feel better soon, real soon because I NEED you. I’m sorry for those spicy noodles on top of the juicy celebratory steak the size of my head, plus the decadent cake, I mean it was my birthday, but I’m still full of remorse!
For my 38th spin around the earth I treated myself to a few too many indulgent treats resulting in some painful days following. So I pulled out the appropriate medicine – from the kitchen of course – and put myself on a khichari cleanse to allow my stomach to rest and repair itself.
What is khichari?
I grew up with Korean rice porridge (jook) with a splash of soy sauce and roasted nori sheets (gim) to help with tummy ailments but once I discovered the traditional Ayurvedic dish, khichari I don’t often go back to jook (sorry mom!).
Khichari is essentially a mix of lentils and rice, vegetables and a medley of medicinal spices to help detoxify by aiding in digestion. It’s often used in cleanses because it’s easy on your digestive system allowing it to operate in tip top condition. This therapeutic dish is not reserved for cleanses or illness though, it also makes for an easy one-pot meal.
After three days of khichari for lunch and dinner, I’m happy to report that my stomach has fully accepted my peace-offering and is chugging along.
Taking the khichari cleanse a step further … next time.
I loved the simplicity of eating the same thing for three days while keeping it interesting with different vegetables and even meat towards the end of the cleanse. There are various ways that you can do a khichari cleanse and it’s up to you how far you want to go using the meal as a base for cleansing your body. For example, as a holistic cleanse, you can include a digital detox, massage, and other self-care focused activities. Sounds amazing for #oneday!
If you’re looking for another healing dish, this vegan bone broth is an excellent choice.
Below is the recipe adapted from the cookbook, East by West, by Jasmine Hemsley
- 1/3 cup white basmati rice
- 1/3 cup mung dal (or mung beans)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch sea salt
- fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)
- Rinse the rice and mung dal in water.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, melt half the ghee and asafoetida (if using). Add the mung dal, rice and water and simmer for 20-25 mins (lid on) until tender. Check on the water and add more water if necessary - it shouldn't be dry but porridge-like.
- In a separate pan, make a tarka (a flavor boosting mix). Melt the remainder of the ghee and then add the cumin seeds and cook on low until they start to pop. Add ginger and saute until golden brown. Add teh turmeric and saute for a few more minutes.
- Add the tarka to the rice and dal mixture in the pot. Cook for 5-7 more minutes and stir often. Season with salt + pepper to taste and serve with fresh cilantro.