Yes, there is a food out there that rivals chicken soup’s ability to heal the body and soothe the soul. This fabulously nourishing vegetarian stew is called kitchari.

Not only does it give strength and vitality, it improves digestion and assimilation, as well as being superbly grounding and comforting. It is also an easily digestible complete protein that dosn’t have the degenerative (tamasic) qualities present in chicken soup.

Kitchari is the combination of split, peeled mung dhal and basmati rice, cooked with lots of ghee (or oil) and digestive spices. It has numerous possible pairings of spices and vegetables, making this dish one with many possible incarnations. 🙂

Although kitchari is ideal food for postpartum rejuvenation, it is not reserved only for new mamas. Whether you have the flu, recovering from surgery, doing a cleanse, or simply eating a balanced vegetarian diet, kitchari is the Ayurvedic food of choice. Not only is it nourishing, digestible, and deeply satisfying, it is also easy to make (and inexpensive!). Because it is a one pot shot, I often cook kitchari in the slow cooker – highly recommended for postpartum!
Many years ago while I was in Ayurveda school savoring yet another bowl of delicious kitchari, I was brought back to my childhood memories of enjoying chicken noodle soup. It was in that moment that I realized the undeniable connection between the two. That hot broth full of gently sweet and savory digestible protein. I could feel it nourishing my cells as I slowly sipped it down. I remember that warm and deeply satisfying feeling it gave me. A feeling of comfort and love. I was very happy to make this connection and to realize there was a vegetarian equivalent to chicken soup.

Eating a vegetarian diet is preferred during the postpartum window because meat has a degenerative quality and is heavy on mama’s weak digestion.

I created this delicious kitchari recipe specifically for postpartum healing. It stimulates the digestive fire, soothes the nerves, aids in healthy elimination, as well as brings the body and mind back into balance. A perfect staple for your postpartum diet.

Enjoy!

Kitchari ~ The Vegetarian Chicken Soup

Prep Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 5 mins
Course: Vegetarian/Vegan
Cuisine: Ayurvedic
Author: Ameya Duprey

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Soak mung dhal and rice for a 3 hours to aid digestibility.
  • Rinse rice and dal until water runs clear.
  • Blend cilantro, fresh ginger and coconut with 1 cup of water until smooth.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Turn down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, adding more water as needed.
  • Add salt and additional ghee to taste.
  • Final product should be soupy, with the rice and dhal broken down.

Notes

*Postpartum Days 1-3: skip the salt and cilantro
*For best results, cook until rice and dhal are broken down and the kitchari is a soft mush.
*This is a very easy dish to make and works great in a crock pot!
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7 Comments

  1. Juhi

    You said in one of your blogs not to have freezer meals postpartum, are you saying that heating up the freezer meals doesnt make any difference?

    Reply
    • Ameya

      Yes, once food is frozen, the properties of that food changes. Frozen food becomes dry, rough and cold; all of which aggravate a new mother’s healing process. I highly recommend the use of slow cookers and strategic advanced planning. I personally LOVE the VitaClay, which has a programmable delay and the pot is made out of terracotta clay. If you need to use freezer meals, its best to freeze soups.

      Reply
  2. Maryse

    If I cook this in a slow cooker do I follow steps 1-3 and then put it in? How long do I cook it for? And do I put the setting on high or low?

    As for the rice congee, I suppose the slow cooker should be low right? Thank you for all the great info.

    Reply
  3. Charlie-bear87

    Thank you for these recipes – As you recommend not freezing this, I’m going to measure and prepare all the pantry ingredients in advance, so my husband can make it easily in the crockpot. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ameya

      Perfect!

      Reply
  4. Laura

    I am having a hard time finding the dung beans, would split peeled red lentils be just as nourishing and restorative for Mama postpartum?

    Reply
    • Ameya

      Red lentils aren’t as nourising, no. Click here to get yellow mung beans. You can use red lentils as a substitute until they arrive.

      Reply

I invite your questions and comments

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