MUNG DAL, COCONUT & CILANTRO KITCHARI (PITTA REDUCING)
How to Make Mung Dal, Coconut & Cilantro Kitchari (Pitta Reducing)
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 60 MINUTES
SKILL LEVEL: EASY
INGREDIENTSSKILL LEVEL: EASY
Wash the mung dal and rice separately. Soak the mung dal for a few hours if you have the time, then drain. Put the ginger, coconut, cilantro and the 1/2c water into a food processor and blend until liquefied. Heat the ghee on medium in a large saucepan and add the blended items, turmeric and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil to release the flavor. Next mix in the rice, mung dal and the six cups of water. Return to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for five minutes. Then cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the dal and rice are tender.
How Can Mung Dal, Coconut & Cilantro Kitchari (Pitta Reducing) Make You Feel Great?
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Just like a comforting bowl of grandma's chicken soup, kitchari will leave you feeling nourished and content. This Pitta Pacifying Kitchari contains Ayurveda's top foods to reduce inflammation. It cools and soothes internally so you'll feel refreshed and at ease after eating. Although tridoshic, this kitchari is especially suitable for Pitta types that are prone to feeling overheated, irritable or stressed out. The cilantro and coconut add to the cooling qualities that Pitta needs.
A combination of mild and subtle flavors, this meal helps calm a fiery digestive tract. Hearty yet light, it satisfies your hunger but is still easy to digest. Kitchari is a staple in the Ayurvedic diet and is considered the signature cleansing dish. It can, however, be enjoyed at any time to give your stomach a well deserved break from eating complicated foods or eating on the run.
Kitchari is the perfect meal to call on when you are feeling under the weather, recovering from an illness or when you just want to reset and clear out your digestive tract.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body's defence mechanism to help clear and remove irritants or pathogens. While it serves an important function, chronic inflammation can be detrimental to the digestive tract.
Tissues become red, hot and swollen and over time, and the delicate lining of the digestive tract can become damaged. Eventually, this can progress to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or leaky gut. A stressful lifestyle and diet of highly processed foods, sugar, alcohol and coffee are all contributing factors to chronic inflammation.
Foods that Reduce Inflammation
The two main ingredients of this soft, savory meal are mung beans and basmati rice which are both nourishing, easy to digest and also key foods to reduce inflammation. Mung beans have an antacid effect, helping balance acidity in the stomach and soothe internal heat.
Their astringent taste is cooling and also tones and tightens bodily tissues. This means they can be useful to alleviate "hot" digestive symptoms like diarrhea, acid reflux, halt bleeding and help seal perforated tissues. Emotionally, astringent taste can help you cool off and collect your thoughts.
Cool Down with Anti-Inflammatory Herbs
Pungent spices, like dry ginger or black pepper, will aggravate those with ulcers or inflammation. Instead, this recipe blends anti-inflammatory digestives which maintain digestive strength (agni)
without overheating you.
Turmeric reduces inflammation and boosts agni by increasing blood flow to digestive organs. Cilantro and lime are both cooling digestives and are often used to mellow a spicy dish and add a freshness to the meal.
Cleanse & Refresh with a Kitchari Mono Diet
Following a kitchari mono diet
with this recipe gently cleanses the digestive tract. A time tested recipe, its rich fiber content is cleansing to the GI tract and helps to bulk up stool for easier elimination. Digestive spices detoxify by clearing metabolic wastes (ama)
in the gut that can cause irritation and inflammation.
Your digestive tract is constantly challenged on a daily basis - morning cups of coffee, complicated meals like pizzas or burritos and greasy, fried foods. Even foods that are normally deemed "healthy" such as raw salads and chilled green smoothie can all take a toll on digestive strength. Favor these nourishing foods to reduce inflammation to restore your energy and vitality.
WHAT IS MUNG DAL, COCONUT & CILANTRO KITCHARI (PITTA REDUCING)?
Ayurvedic kitchari's are India's chicken soup and the congee equivalent of Chinese medicine. This kitchari includes cilantro and coconut and is adapted from Dr. Lad's book Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing.
WHY SHOULD YOU EAT AYURVEDICALLY?
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is
tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with
at any given time. Foods that supplement your specific body type’s needs and digest
easily create your menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you
are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive
tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you
experience optimal health.
Is Mung Dal, Coconut & Cilantro Kitchari (Pitta Reducing) Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz
You'll learn your body type, and whether Mung Dal, Coconut & Cilantro Kitchari (Pitta Reducing) is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.
Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main characteristics
Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance.
By knowing which characteristics are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick.
Every characteristic has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold).
You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite characteristic.
ABOUT CLEAR GUNA
Clear refers to anything that cleanses or flushes out wastes, or that digests ama.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CLEAR
ABOUT COLD GUNA
Cold refers to anything that reduces body temperature, metabolism, and blood flow.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COLD
ABOUT MOBILE GUNA
Mobile refers to anything that stimulates the nervous system, muscles, or activity.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MOBILE
The 6 Tastes
Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food.
Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body.
Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food.
Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods.
Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion.
Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste.
One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes.
The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below?
ABOUT ASTRINGENT GUNA
Astringency is characterized by constriction, drawing together, or drying.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ASTRINGENT
The Three Doshas / Body Types
People tend to get sick, over and over again, due to similar causes and habitual imbalances that are unique to the person.
Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness.
Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency.
Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses.
The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.
The 3 functional body types
are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha).
Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy.
Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy.
Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass.
Catabolic people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry.
Metabolic people tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed.
Anabolic people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
Sattvic foods promote awareness and a refreshed mind by nourishing the body without taxing digestion. Sattvic foods do not stimulate desire or nervous energy. They create clarity instead of drowsiness or heaviness.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SATTVIC
Ojas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after long-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OJAS
Prana is the Sanskrit word for vital life energy, similar to Qi in Chinese Medicine. Many herbs stimulate your energy, or improve the flow of prana through your body. Generally, prana needs to be increased in spring after a sleepy winter.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PRANA
Herbs that increase tejas improve metabolism & brightness by stimulating the fire element at a cellular level. Destroys toxicity, excess fluids, & improves digestion. Also helps with mental function such as poor memory, lack of inspiration & depression.
LEARN MORE ABOUT TEJAS
An herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ALKALIZING
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
The list of actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Stimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CARMINATIVE
Herbs that neutralize acidity in the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach in particular.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ANTACID
Cleanse and Detox:
An herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BURNS-TOXINS
Energy Vitality Strength:
Heart & Circulation:
A vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VASODILATOR
Literally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ALTERATIVE
An herb that produces more blood cells in the body or otherwise strengthens blood. Helpful for anemia and other types of deficiency.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BLOOD-TONIC
An herb or substance that strongly cools the body. Can be helpful in cases of heat conditions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT REFRIGERANT
Liver & Gall Bladder:
Cholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHOLAGOGUE
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About the Author
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week
provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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I am suffering from indigestion. The stomach acid is creating a burn pain in the top of the belly and sometimes the burn radiates to my back. I have seen my PC and had an ultrasound of my liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. All of my fluids have been checked. So far nothing abnormal. Stress makes the burn/pain worse. Is the Pitta Kitchari a good place to start?
- Nicole DuFresne, Beverly, MA 11-30-10
Since acid reflux can comefrom many causes, the best place to use Ayurveda for this condition is to see a practitioner. However, easy to digest foods with herbs that are traditionally used to reduce gut inflammation can be a good place to start exploring.
can i add coconut oil instead of coconut flakes?
- Larissa Demalteris, Golden, CO 08-24-12
You could substitute coconut oil for the ghee and simply leave out coconut flakes.
for mung beans do I use whole green mung beans or split yellow mung dal? I'm Pitta/Vata. Thank you for your recipes.
- m, N/a, FL 10-14-12
Split Yellow Mung is easiest to digest, esp for Pitta/Vata.
- Mary Phillips, Waynesville, NC 10-15-12
Can I use powdered ginger instead of fresh and how much would I use?
You can use dry ginger instead of fresh, though it is hotter and drier and not as ideal for Pitta. If you want to try it, 1/8 tsp is enough. Alternatively, 1/2 tsp of fennel seed would be a better substitute.
Eggs and baking soda are not necessarily banned from an Ayurvedic diet. Since neither are called for in this recipe, I'm confused by your question. In what recipe are you looking to substitute?
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 05-26-16
This was very soothing and has a very simple flavor, despite the ginger/cilantro/coconut combination. It must all mellow out in the cooking.
I have a question. My mother is recovering from a surgery and had to go back to hospital for uti treatment through iv. She is 77. Is this a good recipe to prepare for her ? Thank you
- Cheryl 04-23-17
It's hard to give general advice for specific situations with such little information.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 04-24-17
This sounds good, how many servings does it produce?
- Sylvia, CT 04-26-17
This meal serves 4.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ 04-28-17
Made this many times. It is really good. I add some cumin seeds.
I am very pleased with this recipe. Expected to be bland but it's really satisfying. As a Pitta avoiding hot pungent difficult sour this combination is a rare pearl. Thank you so much! I cooked it differently, just steamed the rice, boiled mung and added the rest.
I thought it would be bland, but it was quite flavorful. But note that you will be tasting the food, not the spices. I could literally feel the cooling effects while I ate it - absolutely perfect in 110 weather, especially eaten at room temperature. I will definitely be making this again.