The inspiration behind the Banyan Botanicals Kitchari Spice Mix comes straight from the kitchens of families who have been making wholesome kitchari for generations, as well as our well-respected Ayurvedic teachers. When using this traditional spice mix recipe, you can be assured that you are taking in something that is time-tested and authentic.
Kitchari is the Ayurveda staple food. It has the features of being nourishing and building, yet cleansing at the same time! As such, it has the qualities of being both health promoting and something that can be eaten on a regular basis.
As it is, the dal and rice are non-aggravating to any dosha and are very easy to digest. The yellow mung dal also has a slight mucilage which helps hydrate and nourish the entire digestive system and body. Couple this with the spice mix, and you get a meal that has an amazing ability to support the digestion and digestive fire.
Most Indian kitchens have a box that contains five to six essential spices that are used in almost every meal. We have combined these spices together so that you can simply use a spoonful of the mix when cooking kitchari, making your life a whole lot easier. This blend is 97% organic and you can rest assured that you are using high quality ingredients.
This is what is included in the traditional blend. For thorough instructions on how to make kitchari, take a look at our How to Make Kitchari article.
- Turmeric powder. Most Ayurvedic cooking includes turmeric. The benefits of turmeric are quite vast, ranging from bolstering the immune system, purifying the blood, and promoting clear and healthy skin. It also is slightly heating, supporting the digestion (and associated organs like the pancreas) and the elimination of natural toxins from the gastrointestinal tract.
- Mustard seeds. Mustard seeds have a heating quality that will kindle your digestive fire (agni) and help with occasional bloating and digestive discomfort. It is fantastic for kapha and vata individuals, but it is also quite beneficial for pitta individuals as well when used in moderation as in this spice mix.
- Cumin seeds. This herb promotes digestion without being heating. Not only does it support digestion, but it has a taste that will kindle a healthy appetite. In fact, many people chew on the whole seeds after meals for the taste and to also calm excess vata in the digestive tract.
- Ginger powder. Ginger is known as the “universal medicine” for its broad range of benefits. It is warming, promotes digestion, supports healthy circulation, and removes excess kapha from the lungs. It will also burn natural toxins (ama), which occur when food is not being digested properly.
- Asafoetida. Asafoetida is the primary herb for soothing vata within the digestive tract. It is the key ingredient in hingvastak (which is our Vata Digest if you are looking for it in tablet form). As such, it helps with occasional bloating and gas and stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract. This herb will also remove natural toxins from the digestive tract. Outside of this system, it soothes excess vata throughout the body (in the nervous system and reproductive tissues, for example).
- Fenugreek. This herb, with its bitter, pungent, and sweet tastes is also a huge aid in digestion. It supports the plasma tissue layer and other fluids in the body as well by cleansing and promoting their flow.
- Mineral salt. Salt is well known for its ability to stimulate the appetite and enhance the sense of taste. But additionally, it kindles the digestive fire, helps digest natural toxins, and can help soothe excess vata. Natural mineral salt is one of the best forms of salt that you can use because it is easy to digest and does not cause water retention as readily as other types of salt.
Try this mixture the next time you make kitchari!