Ayurvedic Khichdi

Ayurveda is a word of Sanskrit origin. It means “the complete knowledge for long life.” It is native to India and has been practiced for centuries by the great Rishis (sages) whose lives spanned over a period of a thousand years. They never aged, always maintained glistening taut skin (sans wrinkles) with lustrous hair and had physical fitness akin to the great Atlas.

Wow a good hook for a blog in our youth-centric society, isn’t it?

In modern world Ayurveda comes within the penumbra of holistic medicine, alternative medicine or some may even call it “hocus pocus.”

It is a form of lifestyle focusing on the mind-body connection. It was shunned for sometime by the Western world and was taken over by modern medicine, pharmaceutical companies and drug companies. But many have realized that only “quantity” of life is not sufficient–it needs to be symbiotic with “quality” of life–and hence have reverted back to this age-old way of life.

Under Ayurveda, we each have a unique mix of three mind/body principles which create our mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called “doshas.” The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. You can analyze your doshas in the quiz below. It is fun!

Chopra Dosha Quiz

Living and eating in accordance with our doshas leads to harmony of the mind and body. Proper intake of food is the underlying theme of Ayurveda as what you take in is a reflection of what you are.

Today I will share an Ayurvedic dish recipe with you that is easy to make, scrumptious and has the utmost health benefits. For me, it is comfort food, loaded with protein, yet easily digestible. It is warm, soft and soothing. It is suitable and beneficial for all doshas.

It is called Khichdi, which basically means a jumbled-up mixture of “this and that.”

Khichdi is eaten with a spoonful of what is called Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter in the purest form with no adulteration.

You fat-phobic people, please do not cringe as Ghee will make your skin glow, stall the Botox injections and keep all your doshas in order. It is the remedy for various ailments and you will not gain a kilo, pound or ounce!

My style of cooking is eclectic, just as my fashion sense. I do not do measurements, do not follow recipes and simply go by my instincts–a pinch of this, a handful of that, a dash of the other and a dollop of something else. In the end it all works out. Here is a simple recipe for Khichdi from my kitchen. Bear in mind, it is not about perfection. We are not at a big-box store. The universe does not call for perfection, but does call for experimentation at various levels. So let’s have fun!

You will need:

1 cup Basmati rice (available in all grocery stores).
1/2 cup mung dal (available in most grocery stores or a specialized Indian grocery store). It looks like this:

4-6 cups water.
Rock salt or table salt to taste.
Pinch of turmeric.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (available at most grocery stores).
Thinly sliced fresh ginger. I love lots of it!
2 tbsps Ghee.
Wash the rice and mung dal. Use a heavy bottom pot. Sauté the cumin, turmeric and ginger briefly in ghee until the cumin turns light brown. Add the rice and dal along with water. Stir and mix. Partially cover the pot until you get one rolling boil. Then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and let the Khichdi cook until the grains are soft and it is a mushy mess, like porridge (told you, I cook with instinct!).

Serve yourself and a loved one in a deep bowl, top it off with a dollop of ghee in the center (watch the ghee melt in the hot Khichdi, delectable!). Offer it to the universe of which we are a part and melt in the goodness of your being!