Khichdi - The Ayurvedic Detox Essential
The word khichdi comes from the Sanskrit word ‘khiccha’ meaning a dish made of rice + legumes. Across the many cultures that make up the canvas of India, khichdi is one of the few constants with every state having its own unique recipe and is usually served with an assortment of delicious sides that include kadhi, papad, achar and so many others.
Because of how easy it is to digest, it is one of the first solid foods that is given to babies. It is recommended for those undergoing a physical detox (especially of the Ayurvedic kind) as well, as it allows for a reset of the digestive system and supports the cleansing of the body. Khichdi helps support a healthy agni - the body’s digestive fire that, when functioning at its optimum, is believed by Ayurvedic practitioners to be the key to good health. The spices that are used to cook khichdi - ginger, cumin, fennel, coriander and salt - are also key in khichdi’s ability to aid in the health of all dosha types; while Kapha and Vatta types benefit from all spices, Pitta types can find their balance with spices such as fennel and coriander.
The dal that is used to make khichdi is also believed to be astringent, a quality that helps remove toxic buildup from the intestinal lining. The astringency has a natural pulling action that is gentler on the body and aligns well with our body’s natural ability to remove toxic buildup. Khichdi also helps liquefy the ama (the toxic product of improperly digested food) during the second stage of the digestion process, making it easier to remove. The split mung dal in the khichdi provides enough fibre to help eliminate the toxins from the body.
Khichdi is also perfect for all dosha types and is a complete meal in itself. It is usually prepared using rice and split mung dal, which by themselves are missing one or more of the essential amino acids that our bodies are not able to make on their own. However, when cooked in combination with each other, they provide all the amino acids that our bodies need to form a complete protein.
We love to prepare - and eat - khichdi fresh; usually at the end of a long day when our bodies especially need an abundance of nutrients to replenish those that have been lost during the day. Khichdi is best enjoyed with a spoonful (or two) of ghee; this combination further amplifies the many benefits of khichdi and also adds a delicious flavour to the dish - ensuring a feeling of deep contentment (that few dishes are able to give) and practically no post dinner dessert cravings.
Tap here to view + try our recipe for khichdi.