People often ask me if I eat according to the principles of Ayurveda and I always want to say something like, ‘Yes! We all do, all of the time.’
In our culture it seems to me that folks think of Ayurvedic eating as following a list of do’s and don’ts as to what one should eat according to their body type or imbalance. This is not at all how I internalized Ayurveda growing up – to me it is a delineation of the principles of nature when it comes to the building blocks of daily living. I don’t have to subscribe to them any more than I subscribe to gravity – their principles apply just as surely.
For a less vague response I instead express the importance that Ayurveda places on how and when over what. In our family we follow a daily and seasonal rhythm of eating mindfully while seated at regular family meals. Lunch is not a passed over meal in our house but looks much more like what most folks think of as dinner. Because we are hardworking (and/or growing!) our dinners look much the same, but are over by 7pm so we can go to bed on a not-full stomach (most of the time!).
All this being said, we do enjoy kitchardi on a relatively regular basis! Fall is a great time to give your system a break and enjoy some of Ayurveda’s famous healing meal.
Ginger digestive aid: thinly slice peeled organic ginger, cover with lime juice and add a pinch of salt. Enjoy about 15 min before a meal if agni (digestive fire or appetite) is low, or just before or during your meal to keep digestion at its peak.
Kitcharee: very digestible ‘perfect protein’ (kitchary, kitchadi, etc.)
1/2 cup basmanti rice
1 cup split yellow mung beans or baby red lentils
4 1/2 cups water
Mild curry spices including tumeric, cumin, coriander, hing, mustard seeds, ground ginger
Bring rice, beans and veggies to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. You can sauté the spices in ghee and add at them at the end or just dump them all in at the beginning and give it a good stir. You can also use a crockpot slow cooker or the Instant pot.
Cilantro Chutney:use very fresh organic cilantro if possible.
2 bunches cilantro washed (May substitute 1 bunch parsley)
Juice from 2-4 limes
Chunk of peeled ginger chopped
½ – 1 cup of unsweetened coconut
Pinch of cayenne
If you are using a blender, I have found a carrot works best for pushing the cilantro down to be ground. A food processor works well if you have one. Ideally is a medium-thick pleasant consistency. This can be frozen in an air tight container- covered with plastic wrap if necessary to keep air off.