Kichadi: The Realistic Reset

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Happy 2018 dear friends! I hope that you all had a restful and relaxing holiday, and that you’re ready to take on the new year.

As most of you know, the past few months have been all-over-the-place (literally) for my family and I, so I’ve been giving myself plenty of freedom when it comes to what I’m eating and how often I’m exercising. With my regular routines out the window, I’ve felt an immense sense of liberation – it’s great to let go once in a while! – but now it’s gotten to the point where my body is really craving some stability and grounding, especially after the holidays. Sometimes I like to go drastic and embark on a 10-day juice fast or something like it, but my body and my mind aren’t feeling a hard-core anything at the moment, so I’m turning to kichadi to gently ease my way back into eating with more balance.

Kichadi, sometimes called and spelled khichdi, kitchari, kitcheree or khichri, is the famous one-pot wonder Indian dish that combines rice and lentils or quick-cooking pulses or legumes, such as mung beans. Its best known in Ayurvedic tradition as a cleansing and complete protein meal, very easy to digest, and a cinch to make! It is delicious, super comfort food, and even if you’re not down with eating the exact same thing for every meal for several days in a row, you’ll be thrilled to learn it’s also the perfect thing to tuck into on a cold winter night.

Because of its simplicity and ease, many people find that doing a kichadi “mono-diet” is very pleasant and far less of an ordeal than a juice fast for example (although I need to be clear that a juice fast is far deeper and more effective). Taking three to seven days to eat this dish exclusively gives the digestive organs a serious break since kichadi is very easy to break down and assimilate. And because digestion is at the core of human health, putting a practice in place that supports this essential process makes room for the miracle of self-healing: something the body is constantly striving for, but often distracted from by poor dietary and lifestyle choices. When we forgo processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and common allergens for a few days, we give our bodies the space it needs to do what it naturally does anyway: clean itself up!

I like to eat a kichadi diet in the colder months when the weather is unfriendly and I need some reassuring, grounding, warm food – and juicing sounds about as fun as a hole in the head. It’s also a wonderful way to glide yourself into the process of cleansing if you’ve never tried it before. Since it doesn’t involve abstaining from food, most first-timers find it totally do-able, and dare I say it, enjoyable! I’ve just completed three days of eating kichadi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I’m feeling sooo much more balanced, clear-headed, and energized – the ways I would like to feel at the beginning of a brand new year! I hope that this simple and realistic reset is up your alley, and that you give it a go.

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First things first, you’re going to need to do a bit of planning for the kichadi diet. Set a realistic goal for yourself – ideally you’ll be eating this dish for at least three days, up to seven, but if one is all you can handle, that is okay too. Since you’re eating throughout this practice, going about your regular life is usually fine, but if you want to go the extra mile and give yourself a real treat, do the kichadi diet over a long weekend or break from work so that you can focus on some other cleanse-enriching experiences, such as a massage, a sauna visit, daytime napping, reading an actual book, and maybe even going offline completely. Gasp! I started my kichadi diet on a Monday and carried out my normal routine with work and family life, and just made sure to give myself lots of juicy personal time in the evenings (essential oil bath, yin yoga sesh, early lights out etc.). Aside from a cleanse-classic mood swing on the last day, no one around me even noticed what I was doing. Since they were too busy eating pizza.   

Before you begin you’ll want to start by cutting back on alcohol, caffeine, sugar, meat, dairy, processed foods, and anything else you know is throwing you off balance. If you abstain from these things for at least a couple of days before you begin, your experience will be much smoother, as you won’t be distracted by gnarly withdrawal symptoms while you’re trying to chill. You can also add any bad habits you have to your hit list, and reduce or eliminate the daily practices that aren’t making your life extra groovy.

Whatever day you are starting the kichadi on, soak the rice and pulses / legumes together the night before. This step is important for improving the digestive qualities of kichadi, but if you are really pressed for time or you forgot, get them in water as soon as you can. Remember that even soaking for an hour is better than nothing! Cook the kichadi daily if possible, since the fresher the food is, the more energy, or “prana” it contains. My recipe makes about six servings for my appetite (eight for people who eat less) and I can easily stretch one batch over two days if no one else in my family wants it. Regardless, you’ll have to make at least two batches if you’re going for three days, and I would not recommend keeping kichadi around for longer than that. Freezing is an option, but freeze it in the portion size you’d want to eat so that you’re not heating more than you need at one sitting.

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Daily routine
The night before: soak the rice and pulses together in plenty of filtered water overnight.

Morning: upon rising, drink a large glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice, followed by another glass of pure water. Make your first batch of kichadi, and enjoy it for breakfast. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Midday: Drink a couple large glasses of water at least 30 minutes before eating. Heat your desired amount of kichadi and enjoy it for lunch.

Evening: Drink a couple large glasses of water at least 30 minutes before eating. Heat your desired amount of kichadi and enjoy it for dinner.

Night time: Drink a cup of herbal detox tea if desired, enjoy something that nourishes you (bath, meditation, stretching) and go to bed early.

Repeat for three to seven days.

Kichadi Reset tips
1. Eat when you’re hungry. This may seem like an obvious one, but many people eat according to the clock, instead of listening to their bodies. Take these days to really tune in and see when your body actually desires food, and how much you need to eat to feel satisfied. When you feel real hunger, your body is giving you the signal that it is actually ready to receive.

2. Cook mindfully. Remember that cooking is something to be grateful for. If you normally approach cooking from a “let’s get this over with” standpoint, use this opportunity to make your meal prep a ceremony, and see it as a gift to yourself. Take your time washing and cutting vegetables, delight in the sound of the spices popping, the scent that wafts up while you’re peeling ginger. The attention and intention you put into your food will come back to you, and nourish you in ways that you never thought possible.

3. Keep things interesting, by adding a squeeze of lime instead of lemon to your kichadi. You can use parsley instead of cilantro, and adjust the spices to suit your personal taste. If you really need some variety, top the kichadi with some of your favourite sprouts, grated raw carrot, or fold in some spinach while it’s still hot.

4. Cravings are normal, especially when you’re knowingly depriving yourself! If you feel a craving coming on, first identify what the craving is. Be curious…maybe it has nothing to do with the food, but more your emotional or mental state. If you really can’t shake the feeling, drink water first, then try a piece of fruit, or some raw veggie sticks.

5. Drink a lot of water. The body functions optimally when properly hydrated. It is especially important when we’re resetting, since we’re letting go of things that need to be flushed out. Water is essential to this process, but it will also prevent cravings, combat fatigue and brain fog, and keep the bowels moving. Remember to drink water away from mealtimes for optimal digestion (30 minutes before eating, 2-3 hours after unless you’re very thirsty). Other beverages, even if they are “mostly water” like coffee and tea, are not water. Only water is water.

After the Kichadi diet
Although it is extremely tempting to celebrate and indulge after denying oneself certain things, this is not the best time to do so. Even though this process keeps your digestive system humming along, your body is still in a sensitive place. Introduce new foods slowly, and keep combinations small and uncomplicated (i.e. don’t have a meal with 20 different foods together). Limit meat, dairy, sugar, and processed foods for as long as possible. That congratulatory slice of cake should wait until you’re pretty much back to “normal”, or maybe even find an alternative ; )

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I hope that many of you try the kichadi diet out, and rejoice in the fact that there is no need to do something radical and overly deprivational during the winter. This is a time for closing in, for being quiet and gentle, and nourishing oneself in a tender way. And remember, you can enjoy this delicious kichadi even for a day, and any season of the year when you need to find your equilibrium once again. It’s a tasty way to come back to center, every time, anytime.

In health, vibrancy, and abundance for the year ahead,
Sarah B.

Show me your kichadi on Instagram: #mnrkichadi

134 comments

  1. Pingback: Kichadi: The Realistic Reset | god parent gift shop
  2. John

    This is a great product and has lot of health advantages and especially I see lot of dental health benefits. I will share this with my patients and I would like to be updated with Xooma’s health products!!

  3. Helen

    Any updates on timing from those who used an instant pot? I’m new to the instant pot world so would love your advice.

  4. Dan

    Hey Sarah!

    I take a raw foods probiotic and an organic, from whole food multivitamin everyday, can I continue to take these while I do this cleanse?

    With light,

    Dan

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  7. Kate

    As I’m doing this cleanse, I would love to learn more about Ayurvedic medicine. Can you recommend some resources for curious minds? I’m very grateful, this post came at a moment when I needed it most 🙂

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  9. Pia

    Hello Sarah, I have read your blogg for a little while now and it really lifts My spirit. Looking forward to try your kichadi/kichari. I’m danish but living in Sweden.

  10. Jessy

    Thank you for this, Sarah! I did 3 days with kitchadi and water. It really did get me back on track after the holidays.

    I never grew tired of eating the kitchadi and enjoyed the process of making a batch. It showed me what times of the day I’ve been eating just to eat and was probably just thirsty! I now drink water during that time of day.

    I was out of the habit of having warm lemon water first thing in the morning and a.m. happy to be back in the habit again. Also, not drinking so close to meal time has really helped my digestion.

    This was such a grounding and mindful experience and I will definitely do it again in the colder months when a reset is needed.

    Thank you for this and for everything you do! I’m such a big fan of you and am so pumped you’re in Ontario because I hope to meet you one of these days! 🙏❤️

  11. Valerie

    Hi Sarah! I just moved to Canada too, from Montana. I’m finding that natural grocery stores and health food shops are small, limited to the variety of products they carry compared to the US. I found your cookbook at my neighborhood library and was thrilled to find the tip about making your own nut/seed milks. Today I’m going to start my first batch of flax seed milk, which I started drinking about a year ago. Most shops carry only soy and almond milk and very little rice milk, all sweetened. I was also wondering if produce grown in Canada is as heavily sprayed with pesticides as in the US? Should I still avoid the “dirty dozen”? Can’t wait until farmers market season begins! All the best from Ottawa, Valerie

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello there Valerie,

      Welcome to Canada! I hope you’re not too freezing up here – this winter has been a chilly one!
      As for your question, crops as likely as sprayed up here, so sticking to the clean 15, or buying organic is your best bet. I’m also looking forward to farmers market season!
      Glad to hear you found my cookbook and are making your own nut and seeds milks – good for you 🙂

      Enjoy the snow,
      Sarah B

  12. Corrie

    Hi Sarah
    I tried this yesterday and loved it. I added chickpea to add some Indian flavor to it and it tasted amazing. I soaked the rice and chickpea together.
    Can I also use white rice instead of brown? Which one according to you would be better?
    Absolutely love your blog.
    Greetings from Israel

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Corrie,

      So glad you liked the recipe! You can definitely use white rice instead of brown – I don’t because it is not a whole food, but it IS actually easier to digest, so it’s your call!

      All the best from Canada,
      Sarah B

  13. Lisa

    Love kitchari! It’s my favorite to make. Ayurveda would not put an onion in since that can be seen as too strong a flavor for a dish that that gives your digestion a break. Did you add it just for flavor or have you seen other recipes that call for it this way? I’m curious!

  14. Emmarie

    Sorry if this was already addressed-I didn’t have time to read all the comments! Can you sub ground spices for the whole? As that is what I already have on hand. Thanks!

  15. Julia

    Hi Sarah, I am breast feeding. (2nd year) Would you still recommend doing the kichadi for a few days? I feel I could use a reset at least, if not a detox as this might not be possible right now because of toxins leaking into the breast milk. What’s your take on this? love Julia – we met on your first Ibiza retreat you being pregnant, me trying to conceive. Back then you told me it is going to happen. And you were right!

  16. Natalie

    I’m really inspired by your Kichadi Reset tips. However, it will take me lots of time to execute it 😂 BUT YES, I absolutely need some RESET in 2018!.

  17. Peter & Adelina

    Thank you, Sarah, for sharing with us this amazing rejuvenation of digestive system! We have done the reset for seven days. We were a bit skeptical about eating the same food three times a day for seven days. But we liked the taste from the beginning to the end.
    We are sorry that you left Copenhagen but hope that you are happy back in Canada. We hope to see you again for an event here.

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello you two!

      Hugest congrats on going the full seven days – I salute you! I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready for 2018.
      And I’ll be back in CPH every year for sure. I’ll post any events here on the blog…stay tuned!

      Big love,
      Sarah B

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  19. Ba

    Thisnis hands down the most satifying “stew” I have had in years! I ate it for 4 days and the pot ran dry, so sad. The on,y think I changed was no mung beans, and by day four I was using spinach instead of cilntro. I could not figure out why it satisfied me so much, just one bowl and go for hours without ever being hungry. And so now I have to make it again! Thank you so much!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hey Ba,

      That is amazing! I’m so happy to hear that is was so satisfying for you. Sometimes the body just gets everything it needs and cravings go away almost like a miracle. Very thrilled for you. Remember that the kichadi is something you can do even one day a month, or a couple days every season. Enjoy!

      Big love, Sarah B

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Sivan,

      Yes, that is no problem – it is in fact more traditional that way (I just don’t eat refined grains). Please follow the exact same steps – I hope you enjoy!

      xo, Sarah B

  20. Jana

    hello there dear fairy:-) here am I, reporting back after … 8 days of kichadi-delicious-reset, I wanted to go for 3days but I ended up with 8:-)) I had different colours of lentils, chickpeas, mungbeans, brown rice or black rice, the sky is the limit here really, I was impressed myself how many pulses are hiding at home (about the 5-6 different sort of rice, I knew, I love rice)!

    SO: I feel lighter, happier, less to zero cravings and my belly feels kind of fixed, not bloated and lovely flat, and I sleep much better (its been a hassle over the holidays and early January)! simply magic…THANKS a lot for this amazing idea, for YOUR wonderful blog all these last years & for the fact that we have YOU, XOXO-the vanilla-addict/deliverer from the lowlands

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello dear sweet Jana!!!

      Wonderful to see your tulip-face in the feed here 🙂
      So thrilled to hear that you had such great success with this recipe and program! That is wonderful. Amazing how such a simple combo of foods can deliver so much satisfaction and get the body back to balance, eh? I just love it.

      Hope all is well in the lowlands. Thinking of you often <3
      xo, Sarah B

  21. Kirstin

    I just started my detox today! I have never done any fastig, detox etc but this sounded very doable;-) I am used to drinking water all the time so trying to not drink for up to 3 hours after a meal is quite challenging for me.

    Greetings from Hamburg, Germany!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Kirstin!

      You got this! Good for you 🙂 I hope it’s going / went well.
      And yes I know it’s hard with the water – small sips are fine, just try not to drink a huge glass of water with your meals.

      Best of luck,
      Sarah B

  22. Julie Lanham

    Hi yah Sarah
    Exactly what I need! Just doing a ‘get back into eating better after Summer Hols beers by the beach’ with juicing so Kichadi will be great after this.
    I hope you have a great year.
    Sincerely Julie Lanham

  23. Picass

    Hi Sarah,

    This recipes is just what I needed. I like how you created this post with so much love and compassion. Thank you so much Sarah!

    • Sarah Britton

      Haha – thanks Sean! I know it seems “obvious”, but so many of us don’t follow this rule. I hope it works for you – you’ll notice a HUGE difference in your digestion with this one 🙂

      All the best,
      Sarah B

  24. Dvora

    I’ve just started a 3 day go at this, and I already love this. i’m not big on cleanses, but i could tell this just sounded and felt gentle and nourishing.

  25. Deborah

    Dear Sarah – Two questions below about carrots and peas! I first learned about you from the MS cleanse and have been following you and buying your books (and using them). So two quick questions – I hate cooked carrots but love them raw. Can I just grate raw on top or do I need to have them cooked? Also the idea of cooked peas in food drives me crazy and reminds me of crummy frozen food from my childhood. What can I best use to replace them? Edamame or is that too much protein? Thanks!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Deborah,

      Great questions 🙂
      First, you could great the carrots raw for the top, but they’re not going to digest as easily – just so you’re aware of that.
      Second, the peas aren’t super cooked, just warmed, but I get where you’re coming from. Definitely do not replace them with edamame, as soybeans are notoriously hard on digestion, so I would just leave them out completely. How about folding in some baby spinach right at the end. You’ll be getting greens and protein! Hope that helps!

      xo, Sarah B

  26. Helen

    can you substitute the turmeric powder for fresh turmeric? what would be the conversion in that case?
    Thanks ☺️

    • Sarah Britton

      Hey Helen,

      You could really use as much as you like. But for conversion sake, I would say 1.5 teaspoons of grated fresh turmeric to sub the dried. It will be delicious!

      xo, Sarah B

  27. Amanda

    Hi Sarah!

    I am currently doing intermittent fasting and skip breakfast daily for a 16 hour fast. I would love to incorporate this cleanse with my fasting. It seems that instead of skipping breakfast, this cleanse involves skipping dinner. Do you know of any pros/cons that I should be aware of with skipping breakfast? Are there any specifics as to if/why you would recommend switching my eating schedule around to accommodate this cleanse?

    Just as a side note… I am LOVING intermittent fasting. It has really improved my energy levels, increased my water consumption and helped curve cravings. My one remaining problem is my gut health though so hopefully this yummy dish will help me reset!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Amanda!

      I also practice intermittent fasting, so this program would be just fine for you 🙂 It definitely does NOT involve skipping meals…not sure where you see that? But anyway, you’ll be happy to know you can still go your 16 hours like I do, even during the kichadi! Glad you’re enjoying IF…it has changed my health a lot too and I’m hooked!

      xo, Sarah B

  28. Lori

    Sarah, can I grind the spices? Well, let me rephrase. I know I can! But should I? Would it impact the efficacy? Thanks!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hey Lori,

      Absolutely grind the spices! They will be all the more potent and flavourful. I just didn’t write that in the ingredients or instructions since it’s an extra step and most people can’t be bothered 😉 You have my blessing…grind away!

      Smiles,
      Sarah B

  29. Jill

    Hi Sarah!

    I’m not doing the fast, I may try it around the Lunar New Year, but I made the recipe last night and it was SO good! Thank you! I also made a cilantro-hemp sauce (blended cilantro, hemp seeds, ginger, honey, lemon juice and a touch of water) to serve on top and the flavors worked so well together.
    I also wanted to say thank you for your blog. I always feel more inspired about cooking after reading your posts and I love that all of your recipes are so healthy and taste so good as well – not an easy feat.

    You do beautiful work!

    Warmly,
    Jill

  30. Joanne

    Hi Sarah, in general, I don’t gravitate towards detox regimes, I firmly believe that if I eat properly (lets say 8 days out of 10) I am setting my body up to look after itself very well. But, something about the idea of eating this particular meal exclusively really appealed to me (it may be that my favourite vegetables and spices are all present :-)), the recipe just seemed to call my name. So, I made it this morning and am really enjoying my first bowl. It’s very gentle and a wee bit sweet. I’m going to freeze a few portions because I suspect it will be a good meal to have on hand if under the weather, like congee or jook. I only used one onion, because the tears were really getting to me, and I added some curry leaves which I have in the freezer, no other changes though. Thanks for this recipe! Oh, and welcome home too!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Joanne,

      I am very happy to hear that this recipe and “regime” resonated with you. I’m also happy that you enjoyed it! Yes, it is a great thing to have in the freezer for those moments when you need something warm and nourishing in a snap!

      Happy to be home, thank you <3
      xo, Sarah B

  31. Isabelle

    I made this last night after seeing your post and it’s was so tasty!! Used fresh turmeric as the local greengrocer happened to have some. Looking forward to trying the mung bean version soon.

  32. Amy

    Hi Sarah

    Im juice detoxing / cleansing / healing etc here in the hot hot summer of Australia…and this pops up while drinking my lunch! Very excited to try, it may just be our first meal once my husband and I finish in a few days time.

    Also, I know you have a little one. I have 2 little boys under 2. Id love any food ideas for them! Especially on the go food that will fill their tummies up & quick for me to throw together.

    Thanks, Amy

  33. Nadine

    Hi Sarah,
    I love your books and looking forward to trying this recipe. I am just curious about the cooking time. I assume since mung beans only usually take around 25-30 min this means they are intended to be a bit overcooked in this recipe? Is that part of the plan for digestion or just an accepted consequence of cooking two grains/beans at once?
    Thank you!

  34. Kristin Schafer

    Hi Sarah, I am looking forward to trying this, and also can I say thank you for having and showing your unpolished finger nails? I work with so many woman who are professionally lacquered, lol, that it’s refreshing to me any time I see women who are “au naturelle” in this regard. Many of my non-work friends I met via hiking and outdoor activities, and they are “unpolished” as well.

    • Sarah Britton

      Hey Kristin,

      Haha! Love that you comment on my nails 😉 In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a very “polished” woman! I think hands are beautiful they way are! And I think we need to celebrate our natural selves whenever we can. Thanks for your sweet note!

      xo, Sarah B

  35. Sia | Monsoon Spice

    Kichidi is my comfort food and it feels like getting a warm hug whenever I eat it. There is one ingredient I always use when making kichidi (or any Indian food for that matter) and it’s called Hing/asafoetida. It has a very strong smell which may not be for everyone’s liking and hence also known as devil’s dung for that reason. But this resin is highly valued in Indian kitchens as it aids in digestion like no other ingredients. A generous pinch of Hing goes a long way and it is added as tadka (or tempering) in hot oil or ghee before other ingredients are added. Do give it a try 😊

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Sia,

      I’ve been cooking Indian and Ayurvedic food for over a decade and I love asafoetida! I just didn’t want to use it as an ingredient here since a lot of people don’t have access to that sort of thing 🙂 But thank you for mentioning it…glad you love kichadi as much as I do!

      Best,
      Sarah B

  36. Trish

    Hi Sara,
    I sometimes have digestive issues with brown rice. Would it be fine to substitute with quinoa? Would that alter the results or nutritional value at all?

  37. Caroline Schrøder

    I didn’t know it, but apparently this is what my body screams for right now.I have been thinking about this reset since I read your post Yesterday. I’ll start in the end of the week and I can already feel my body thanking me for this 🙂 I’m super excited to begin! My kitchen is filled with so many different beans and red and green lentils. Is it a must that it is mung beans or Brown lentils or do you have a suggestion to another type of beans?

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Carline,

      Great to hear! Listen to that body 😉
      Yes, you’ll want to stick to a very quick-cooking and easy to digest legume, so lentils, mung beans or adzuki beans are best. Avoid larger beans like pinto, kidney, or chickpeas, okay? Best of luck and I really hope you enjoy the experience!

      xo, Sarah B

  38. Janelle

    Hi Sarah, given that we’re in the hotter months over here in Australia, is there a different spice mix you would recommend from an Ayurvedic perspective that would be better suited seasonally? Or is this a happy go lucky recipe no matter the season. Thanks! x

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Janelle,

      Great question! This spice blend is tri-doshic, meaning that it balances the three Ayurvedic doshas (vata, pitta, kapha). This translates into a meal that is also balanced for all seasons, so I think even though it’s hot down under, it is still appropriate for you. I hope you enjoy 🙂

      xo, Sarah B

  39. Janelle

    Hi Sarah, given we are in the warmer/hotter months over here in Australia right now, is there a different spice selection you would recommend from an Ayurvedic perspective? I assume I could make it the same but just adjust to the seasonally appropriate spices? Thank you! x

  40. Nada

    Love this! I’m breastfeeding an 8 month old, is it ok to do this for 3 days?
    Happy new year to you and your family <3

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Nada!

      Personally, I would wait until you’re finished breastfeeding, but I think it would be okay, as long as you continue to take any supplements that you’re on, and please eat as much as you’d like during the three days! My main concern would be getting enough calories in, but if you’re confident that you can, then it should be okay. Good luck and enjoy!

      xo, Sarah B

  41. Sarita Kakar

    In reply to the post questioning use of kitcheri in ayurveda.Sarah you are correct.i am deeply involved with the Art of Living foundation in India and have been to their ayurveda centre at bangalore,india.kitchri as a detox is very much a treatment.the kitcheri is customized according to individual body types.i have done it several times.this is pure traditional ayurveda,made with indian gher cow ghee.sarita

  42. Sarah

    This sounds so good to me, and what I need. Thank you… I hope I can do it. Told my husband 😄 he is on his own for dinner!

  43. Kia

    Is this something you could do to help you ease the digestive system even when you are pregnant? If it is nourishing and not flushing too much toxins into the system, shouldn’t it still be okay?

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Kia,

      Great question! I wouldn’t recommend doing the kichadi exclusively for more than one or two days during pregnancy. Not because you’re detoxing, but because of the increased nutritional needs you have. That being said, one or two days could resolve some issues around your digestion, depending on what is causing the unease. If things do not improve, I would speak to your midwife or doctor 🙂 But I do hope it helps!

      Much love,
      Sarah B

    • Spice

      Hi, as an Indian I can say that anyone can have khichdi as part of their regular diet bcoz its nourishing as well as easy to digest food. And in my pregnancy it use to b one of the regular food for me. It’s gud if u can make it with green whole mung/moong as it is very nutriouos for baby also. Or other option is using yellow moong(without skin) which cooks quickly and is more lighter in texture. And yes add some ghee to it.

  44. Katie

    Hi Sarah,

    This sounds like exactly what I need right now. However, I’m a on pretty regular exercise regimen involving HIIT and resistance training, and don’t want to sacrifice this for a cleanse. I’m wondering if you think it would be harmful to engage in this cleanse while continuing vigorous exercise?

    Thanks!
    Katie

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Katie,

      Although I recommend doing lower-impact exercise while you’re on the kichadi cleanse, I don’t see any problem at all eating it while carrying out your normal routine. Just make sure you’re eating enough during the day to support your practice. The point of this is eating a singular dish for improving digestion, not restricting calories. I hope that helps!

      xo, Sarah B

  45. Terri

    Hi Sarah,
    I am super excited to try this! I was just looking for a little reassurance. Do I need to fret about over consuming certain vitamins/minerals eating the same thing for many consecutive days in a row and not varying my diet through the fast? LOVE lentils and am really looking forward to trying a gentler approach to giving my system a little break. Thanks!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Terri,

      Great questions, but no, not to worry. It’s only a few days! Go as long as you feel comfortable, and stop when you feel your body needs something more. This is a time to really tune in and listen – your body will tell you what is best! I hope you enjoy the experience <3

      Much love,
      Sarah B

  46. Anna

    Would this be ok while breastfeeding (not fully, just as a complement for a two year old) or Will many toxins be released? Also, the arsenic levels in brown rice are higher than those in white, would white perhaps be better for someone breatsfeeding?

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Anna,

      Rice is of course the traditional grain used in kichadi, but I understand your concern. Choose white rice (you’re correct, less arsenic than brown) or brown rice from California, India, or Pakistan for lowest levels, or use another grain altogether if you’re concerned. Millet or quinoa would make suitable substitutions. I hope that helps!

      Best,
      Sarah B

  47. Julia

    Sounds delicious! Love the reminder to cook mindfully, it helps to carry that feeling over to eat mindfully as well and really enjoy and appreciate the entire experience.

  48. Rosemary

    I just made this in my instant pot. It’s absolutely amazing!!! I used half brown and half wild rice. I also don’t like peas so I left them out but served it on a bed of fresh spinach and kale. I also used dehydrated carrots and tomatoes since that’s what I had. Used the spices in the recipe and the sweet potato and green lentils. I cooked it 23min high pressure with natural release. If you don’t like your veggies quiet so soft then do a quick release last 3min and finish cooking. I was hesitant of the spice combo but was very pleasantly surprised.

  49. Cynthia

    I’m so glad you posted this, Sarah! Of course I read the blurb about it in the cookbook but I felt like I needed some more info and all of this was extremely helpful! Going to give it a go now, honestly it just sounds like a good winter meal as well 🙂

  50. Ciel

    Hey Sarah! Great post. Wondering about the inclusion of onions… my understanding of traditional kitchari is that it does not have any alliums, as that can cause some gastric distress and interfere with the cleanse process. What is your thought on this? Obviously it adds a tremendous amount of flavor… but does it impact the cleansing negatively? I’m looking forward to trying this sometime soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

  51. Kankana

    We love khichdi. It’s our favourite comfort food, especially when it gets too cold. It sure does soothes your tummy, but never really thought of using khichdi as a a detox diet. I might just follow your route and do it for three days. Thanks for sharing this.

  52. maria

    Dear Sarah, thank you for this reminder of gentle cleansing in winter month! I just wanted to comment, just in case you didn’t see it, that the name is KICHARI not kichaDi. Don t want to look pretentious please! I also have a blog and I know sometimes we miss details. Thank you so much for your work.
    best, Maria

  53. Cait

    I absolutely adore this. Question, would it be possible do you think to leave the rice out completely or perhaps utilize cauliflower rice? <3

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Cait,

      It’s definitely not traditional, but if you cannot tolerate grains then I guess you could try it. The point of the cleanse is mono-eating, so using the cauliflower instead of rice should be okay as long as you’re eating it exclusively for the time specified period. Good luck and enjoy!

      xo, Sarah B

  54. Sammy Hart

    I was so inspired by your Instagram that I couldn’t wait for the recipe to do the cleanse. I am happy to have it now. I am on day 2 and it has been great. I love Kitchadi, it is deliciously satisfying and I don’t have any hanger that I typical get when I am on a cleanse. Thank you for posting this Sarah, I will use it for my next batch!

  55. Santanu

    Hi Sarah, I am from India and a khichdi cleanse is nothing anyone here has ever heard about. Sometimes khichdi is eaten when people are unwell, but it’s nothing which comes from Ayurvedic tradition. Where you got the knowledge from that this is an ayurvedic method ?
    But it’s great if our humble khichadi makes you feel better! Best wishes, Santanu

    • Sarah Britton

      Hello Santanu,

      When I studied Ayurveda in school for Holistic Nutrition, my instructor taught us all that kichadi was used in times of illness (as you suggested) but also to give the body a break, ease the digestive process while nourishing the entire system. Here is more from the Ayuverdic Institute: “Kitchari is the preferred food to use when fasting on a mono-fast or while going through cleansing programs such as panchakarma. Kitchari is excellent for detoxification and de-aging of the cells.” – https://www.ayurveda.com/recipes/kitchari

      I hope that clarifies things! And yes, humble kichadi makes me feel amazing <3

      In light,
      Sarah B

  56. Julia

    Hi Sarah, i love this recipe and want to give it a try. The only thing though that’s challenging to me is: Kichadi for breakfast – ugh. I’m much more a porridge or bread with nutbutter-kind-of-girl. Any thoughts on making a warm, hearty breakfast enjoyable? xx, Julia

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Julia,

      The first time I decided to do this I felt like breakfast would be the biggest challenge since I’m on the nut butter / porridge / sweet side at breakfast. I was so surprised to discover how much I LOVED kichadi as breakfast. I think you should just give it a try and see for yourself. If you’re not into it, make a plain batch without the veggies and stick to warming spices.

      I hope that helps!
      xo, Sarah B

      • Sarah

        So glad you said this. I love my nut butter toast green smoothie in the am. But this really sounds good for breakfast. I must be needing it,

  57. Fanny

    This actually sounds delicious! Will definitely be trying it. One question though: what do you mean by “pulses” together overnight?

  58. Iris N

    I’m usually out the door by 7:30 in the morning and bring a cooked lunch with me, but by then it’s not hot or as warm by the time I’m about to eat it (which is around noon). Is this dish best to be eaten hot/warm or is it as good cold? Also, how do you heat up your leftovers? Do you just reheat on the stove? Thank you for the blog post and the recipe! This is exactly what my body needs.

  59. Ashley

    Any guesses about how cook time might convert in an Instant Pot/pressure cooker? I can probably guesstimate, just wondering if others had experience doing it that way…

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Ashely,

      I don’t have an Instant Pot, but I’m sure it would turn out fine. I just can’t tell you about cook time or water amounts…hopefully someone in the comments will chime in! Good luck and happy cooking 🙂

      xo, Sarah B

    • Rebecca G

      Hi Ashley,
      I was setting out the ingredients to put this in my InstantPot right now. Brown rice generally takes 22 minutes on high pressure, but since it’s been soaked overnight I would say cut the time in half 10-11 minutes.

      Hope this helps.

  60. Lisa

    Hi Sarah!

    It’s probably unrealistic for me to cook from scratch first thing in the morning due to school runs and early up and outs! Is it acceptable to make a batch of this the day before and re-heat the next day for the various meal times?

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Lisa,

      Absolutely fine! I keep one batch for two days, and just reheat what I need at one sitting, so of course it’s fine that you cook it the day before 🙂 Good luck and enjoy!

      xo, Sarah B

  61. Alejandra Graf

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I also feel that I need an urgent detox after the holidays… but my body is not ready for a 10 day juice detox!!!! I feel I’ll never be ready or will have the strength to do it again. This detox is perfect for me right now! I’ll start tomorrow!!! Thanks!

  62. ilona

    I’ve been waiting for your kichadi recipe since I saw you talking about it on Instagram 🙂
    I can’t imagine this feeling like deprivation as this dish sounds like a dream! All those spices, rice, pulses and veggies. Yum!

  63. Justine N

    If I happened to have just purchased a huge bag of basmati rice, can I use that in place of brown rice? Or is it pertinent that I use the brown?

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