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What Is Kichadi?

Updated: 7 days ago





The biggest obstacle to healing is resistance to facing the fact that the quality of what we put into our body will determine how well our body functions and heals. ☥ Dr. Phyllis SHU Hubbard ☥


Yellow mung dal (lentils)
Beans have different healing qualities, but any bean can be used to make Kichadi. Lentils (mung dal) are most commonly used because they are easier for most people to digest.



I had the pleasure of spending a large portion of my early childhood with two East Indian families. The mother of one of the families looked after me while my mother was at work. She had seven children, and because I was an only child at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed having so many playmates. She was also an avid cook and introduced me to a wide array of delicious Indian foods that I crave to this day.




Fresh Turmeric
Turmeric


Many years later, when I discovered and healed my body through the practice of Ayurveda, I learned that many of these delicious foods had the power to heal. I like to think of kichadi as nutritious Indian comfort food. It is a nourishing stew that is heavily used in different types of Ayurvedic cleansing programs (such as pancha karma) and typically consists of brown rice, herbs, veggies and split mung dal, which we call lentils. Kichadi can also be made without beans and still be a hearty cleansing dish.




Kichadi with cabbage, sweet potato and dandelion root
Kichadi with cabbage, pumpkin and dandelion root


There are many types of kichadis that are prepared for specific healing goals such as warming or cooling the body, improving digestion, healing the kidneys or liver, etc. I'm sharing one of my recipes for a kichadi that nourishes the liver and gallbladder. Our liver is extremely sensitive to emotions and is most affected by imbalanced emotions. From a broader perspective, our liver rules our ability to plan our lives and our gallbladder rules our capacity to make decisions. I tend to prepare this dish as my "fasting food" at the change of each season to help cleanse and rejuvenate my body, mind and emotions.


I rarely fast without food. The body needs nourishment and kichadi will energize and sustain us during a nourishing cleanse of our liver and gallbladder. It can be eaten several times throughout the day, is very easy to digest and will be a very healthy, mild diuretic/laxative. When we eat the same healing foods for several days in a row, we energize our bodies to begin the cleansing process. To be effective, we need to eat kichadi for at least 3 days (preferably 5 days in a row). I typically make a large crock pot of kichadi, and when I've eaten it all, I make another large pot and continue until I feel like the cleansing process is complete. I generally eat kichadi for at least 5 days, but I've gone as long as several months on different types kichadi and salads (a useful strategy during flu season, a pandemic, times of extreme stress, etc.). Use organic ingredients where possible.



Kichadi with asparagus, dandelion root and celery
Kichadi with asparagus, dandelion root and celery

1 bunch of broccoli and/or 1 bunch of dino (lacinato) kale, collards or dandelion greens, rinsed and chopped (if using dandelion greens, they will be bitter; use sparingly or use dandelion root)

1 carrot or parsnip, sliced

1 cup of amaranth (soaked for 6 hours, rinsed and drained)

1/3 cup yellow lentils* (also called yellow mung dal)

6 inch slice of burdock root, peeled and chopped

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. coriander seeds

½ tsp. brown mustard seeds

2 turmeric roots, thinly sliced or 1 tsp. turmeric powder

1 TSP ginger root, shredded or 1 tsp. ginger powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1 stick kombu (rinsed)

1 TSP coriander powder

8 cups of distilled water

Optional garnish: sprinkle black sesame seeds or drizzle black tahini

☥ The lentils are optional if you have trouble digesting beans. Lentils are generally the

easiest beans for most people to digest. I often make kichadi without lentils. Both

variations are equally satisfying and delicious. If you are unfamiliar with spices, order a

kichadi spice mix which is absolutely delicious and will simplify your cooking. The

recipe is a guide. Have fun experimenting and try combinations of herbs and veggies

that you love.

☥ Add a generous serving of Kamitic Kultured Kraut to your kichadi for added flavor and

to promote a healthy microbiome.







Stove Top Method

Place cumin, coriander and mustard seeds in a large saucepan over low heat. Dry roast, stirring frequently until the mustard seeds pop. Cumin roasts very quickly, so I recommend dry roasting it separately. Add the turmeric and beans and sauté for 30 seconds. Add 6 cups of water, amaranth, kombu, burdock, ginger and dandelion root and bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for an hour until amaranth is cooked (amaranth will get thick and sticky so stir often). Add the remaining water, carrot, broccoli, greens, sea salt and coriander powder. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until broccoli reaches the desired texture.


Crock Pot Method

Turn crockpot on high and add 6 cups of water and all spices. Use coriander and mustard powder instead of seeds (or roast them as listed above and add to crockpot). Add all ingredients except the broccoli, carrots and greens. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until amaranth and yellow dal are cooked. Stir each hour to keep amaranth from sticking. Turn the crock pot down to low, add fresh vegetables, additional water if needed and simmer for an hour or until greens have wilted and cooked to the desired texture.





Kichadi will be delicious and effective even without all of the ingredients above (feel free to add other veggies, healing herbs that appeal to you), so don't let a missing ingredient prevent the creation of this healing stew.









Self-Care is like a treasure map that leads us to the truest part of ourselves.


Epilogue ☥ Your Treasure Map For Self-Care 

Thank you for taking the time to actively engage in your own self-care. If you have ever spent time at a hammam ☥ steam room ☥ sauna, you will notice that it is a comfortable space because you are wearing minimal or no clothing and you can just be yourself. However, after a short time, it starts to get hot, and you begin to sweat. This is a good thing because you are helping your body to eliminate toxins. If you want to detoxify your body correctly you will:

☥ Breathe slowly and deeply to help your body adjust to the intensity of the heat.

☥ Sip water every 15 minutes to stay hydrated.

☥ Have a piece of fruit ☥ pumpkin seeds ☥ favorite healthy snack available.

☥ Take a shower after excessive sweating.

☥ Go into a cold room/take a cold plunge/cold water rinse off to cool down before doing

another sweat and to stimulate your lymphatic system.

☥ Go for a walk in nature, spend time in meditation ☥ contemplation, have a healthy meal

and give your body some time to complete the healing process (which could include

sending you messages through your intuition about your next steps).


As you journey through ☥ interact with the blogs ☥ other content on phyllishubbard.com, you might have an insight that causes you to suddenly feel mentally ☥ emotionallyhot” -- which could show up as:

☥ “Ah-ha” moments

☥ A hop-in-the-bed-and-cry-yourself-to-sleep or fetal position crying time of intensive

self-care

☥ Intense feelings of anger/regret about something in your past

☥ Disorientation caused by the realization of truth

Strong reactions such as heightened senses, vomiting; an urge to release emotions

such as yelling/screaming, going outside for fresh air/to take a walk, punching a

boxing bag/pillow; a feeling of tightness in the chest, etc.


When we face ☥ transcend our challenges, they no longer have power over us.


If you find yourself having a strong reaction, I encourage you to flow with it while helping your body to release mental ☥ emotional toxins by using the same five self-care strategies listed above for releasing physical toxins. Your body talks to you all the time, but unconscious adherence to social conditioning can mute its messages.


Strong reactions are your body’s way of letting you know that there is a deeper issue requiring your attention.

Keep revisiting the content ☥ utilizing the five self-care strategies until you no longer experience the strong reaction, release fears and have identified ☥ transformed ☥ removed the root cause of the issue. You will find additional strategies throughout this website that you can add to your mental health self-care toolkit.


Self-Care Sustainability Suggestions

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☥ Revisit the content periodically and make a note of if/how your perceptions have

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When you share healing, healing comes back to and flows through you.

About Sharing ...

During my first presentation to an all-Black audience, I introduced 20-year-old research on the hazards of sitting. I presented the research because I noticed that people sat for way too long at convenings and realized that the information was not disseminated to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities. I was determined to intentionally include this research, often surprising participants by getting people up to stretch. After more than 13 years of intentional work, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People are just barely beginning to normalize conscious movement. We still have a long way to go, and it is important that we share what we know as much as we can to prevent the disenfranchisement of wellness information to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities.



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About Dr. Phyllis SHU Hubbard's work as a Health Warrior

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