Definition - What does Kitchari mean?
Kitchari is a traditional Indian dish made of dahl (split yellow mung beans), basmati rice, ghee (clarified butter) and spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric and ginger, among others. The dish is used in the Indian healing system of ayurveda and in yoga therapy as a way to detoxify the body and balance the three doshas, or bio-energy centers.
In ayurveda, the key to health is the balance among the vata, pitta and kapha doshas, which are thought to circulate throughout the body and regulate physical, emotional and mental health.
Yogapedia explains Kitchari
Unlike many detox diets, one using kitchari supplies a balanced diet that is nourishing and avoids deficiencies when paired with fresh fruit and steamed vegetables. This dish is generally consumed during panchakarma, the ayurvedic process of purifying and detoxifying the body. Because it is easy on the digestive system, kitchari is also recommended when that system is weak due to illness. Kichari is believed to kindle agni, the body's digestive and metabolic fire, while cleansing the aama, or the waste products that block channels in the body.
Also called Indian dahl, Kitchari can be found on the menu in virtually all Indian restaurants. Much like chicken soup in the West, kitchari is traditionally recognized in India as the dish to eat when one is sick. A diet consisting solely of kitchari for one to three weeks is also recommended for weight loss.