Kitchari not only provides nourishment for the body, but, due to its spice combination, also benefits digestion. This makes kitcheri an ideal food of choice during times of stress on the body, such as during an illness, periods of overwork or change of seasons.
For many, the concept of food combining – the idea that some foods digest well together while others do not – is entirely new, and somewhat foreign. But according to Ayurveda, it is an essential part of understanding how to eat properly.
Vata is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked, whole foods that are soft or mushy in texture, rich in protein and fat, seasoned with a variety of warming spices, and served warm or hot.
Pitta is balanced by a diet of fresh, whole foods (both cooked and raw) that are cooling, hearty, energizing, comparatively dry, and high in carbohydrates.
Kapha is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked, whole foods that are light, dry, warming, well spiced, and relatively easy to digest – ideally served warm or hot.
Vata is cool, dry, rough and light, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities – foods that are warm, moist, oily, smooth, and nourishing – can help to balance excess vata.
Pitta is oily, sharp, hot, light, spreading, and liquid, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities – foods that are dry, mild, cooling, grounding, stabilizing, and dense – serve to balance excess pitta.
Kapha is heavy, cool, oily, and smooth, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities – foods that are light, warm, dry, and rough – can help to balance excess kapha.
According to Ayurveda, it is incredibly important to taste our foods, our herbs – our lives. Rasa, the Sanskrit word for taste, has a number of potent meanings, among them: experience, enthusiasm, juice, plasma (as in rasa dhatu), and essence. These diverse meanings only hint at the significance of taste within the Ayurvedic tradition.