Ayurveda advocates food that is –

  • Easy to digest
  • Produces minimum amount of toxins after digestion
  • Gets absorbed properly
  • Do not disturb the chemical / temperature balance of the body
  • Is in accordance with the body requirements
  • Is in accordance with the seasonal changes

Such food is especially important when one is suffering from any disease or has improper digestion. One of the best Ayurvedic foods which qualifies for all the above qualities is Khichadi. Khichadi is a traditional dish which is made from pulses and rice. It has a semi-liquid consistency which makes it very easy to chew, digest and absorb.

Let’s discuss few recipes of khichadi, their usage and benefits in different health conditions

Plain Moong Dal Khichadi

This is the best recipe of khichadi which is good for all health conditions except one which will be discussed later in this article.

Moong dal is considered as the best of all pulses. Charak Samhita recommends having moong dal daily. It is easy to digest and does not vitiate any dosha, whereas all other dals vitiate the vata dosha.

Rice is another main ingredient of Moong dal khichadi. Rice is considered to be the most favourable of all grains. It is mild, easy to digest, has cool temperament and does not vitiate any dosha. It is revitalizing and strengthens the body.

What is significant in the case of above 2 ingredients is that there is no allergy causing components in them according to any scientific study or public experience, which is not the case with other foods like wheat, soyabean, peanuts etc. Therefore, these 2 ingredients do not cause any allergic reactions at any point in time in any individual.

Plain moong dal khichadi is very easy to prepare. This is crucial factor when one is sick and cannot go for an elaborate procedure of cooking.

Ayurvedic recipe for Plain Moong Dal Khichadi (serves 4)
1 cup Moong dal
1 cup rice
6 cups of water
2 tsp of cow ghee
Salt according to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a pressure cooker or cooking pot and cook for 10 min. Make sure that the moong dal and rice become very soft, almost like jelly. It is better to cook in a cooking pot with a lid as compared to cooking in pressure cooker. The slow cooking and lower temperatures of the cooking pot better preserve the nutrients of khichadi as compared to over-heated fast cooking of pressure cooker.

Tur/ Arhar Dal Khichadi

Tur dal is next best to Moong dal. Tur Dal is dry in nature and is capable of vitiating vata dosha. Therefore, ample amount of ghee should be consumed with it. In fact tur dal should never be consumed without ghee or appropriate oil tempering.
1 cup Tur/ Arhar dal
1 cup rice
6 cups of water
2 tsp of cow ghee
Salt according to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a pressure cooker or cooking pot and cook for 10 min. Make sure that the khichadi is properly cooked.

Mix Dal Khichadi

1/3 cup Tur/ Arhar dal
1/3 cup Moong dal
1/6 cup Chana dal
1/6 cup Masoor dal
1 cup rice
6 cups of water
2 tsp of cow ghee
Salt according to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a pressure cooker or cooking pot and cook for 10 min.

Mix dal khichadi is a little hard to digest as compared to Moong dal or Tur dal khichadi. Therefore it is recommended for people with strong digestion or for the ones who are recuperating. It is important to use ghee or other oil tempering in order to make it more easily digestible.

All dals are used in Mix dal khichadi except urad dal because urad dal is extremely dry in nature and can immediately cause vata vitiation. Therefore, urad dal consumption can immediately result in bloating, flatulence, constipation and other problems like joint pain, body pain etc, especially in people who do not have a great digestive power or are sick. Kindly do not use urad dal in any kind of khichadi.

Ayurvedic Tempering for Khichadi

Following tempering can be used for all kinds of khichadi according to the body requirements and temperament. There are mainly 3 types of body temperaments or dosha according to Ayurveda, namely vata, pitta and kapha. All these dosha have different ameliorating herbs and spices, which can be used according to individual requirements.

Tempering are used mainly for 3 purposes

  • For stimulating digestion in sick person facing anorexia
  • For strength building in sick, weak, recuperating person with normal digestion
  • For enhancing the smell and taste of the khichadi and stimulate the taste buds of the consumer.

According to the prakrati or body type of the person, following tempering can be used-

  1. Vata prakrati : Temper 5-6 curry leaves, 1 pinch of asafoetida, 5-6 methi, 5-6 garlic buds seeds in mustard oil and mix with the khichadi
  2. Pitta prakrati : Temper 2-3 bay leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1-2 anis star, 1-2 dalchini sticks in coconut oil/ olive oil/ ghee and mix with khichadi
  3. Kapha prakrati: Temper 3-4 clove buds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3-4 flakes of ginger and 1 chopped green chilly in til oil/ghee or any other oil and mix with khichadi

When khichadi should not be used?

Khichadi is a very light food. However, according to Ayurveda, excess of any kind is always harmful. Therefore khichadi is also not always beneficial.

Following are the conditions when the khichadi is actually harmful to consume –

For people who have good digestion and are engaged in intensive manual labor – since khichadi is a light food, it cannot provide enough nutrition to a person involved in hard manual labor. Therefore such a person should not consume khichadi on a regular basis.
In case of extremely hungry person with strong digestion – This point is es applicable for pitta prakrati people. They tend to have a very strong digestion and very light food cannot pacify the strong digestive juices in their body. These digestive juices, when not satisfied with enough heavy food, tend to burn the tissues of alimentary canal. Therefore people with very strong hunger and pitta prakrati should not consume khichadi on a regular basis.

During the winter-time – Winter is the healthiest season according to Ayurveda. The digestive fire is considered to be the strongest during the winter season, in all the people irrespective of their prakrati. Such strong hunger if not satisfied with heavy food might again cause the similar consequences as discussed above.

Hope the above information will help you to make the best use of the wonderful yet simple dish of khichadi.