Kitchari is one of the ultimate cleansing foods, particularly for those who follow the Ayurveda lifestyle. Kitchari can be used or eaten by anyone though and it’s cleansing characteristics make it a great healthful option.
You don’t have to use kitchari just for cleansing properties, you can simply enjoy it as a meal or a side dish. We will talk a bit more about how kitchari is made later in this article. The flavor is delicious and it’s relatively easy to make.
Kitchari often makes large batches by the time you make it so storage solutions are essential to understand so you can preserve the integrity of your kitchari and enjoy it again later.
Can you freeze kitchari and save it up for later? Will it turn mushy or soggy when you freeze it? You can freeze kitchari pretty easily with storage bags or an airtight container and it will stay fresh in the freezer up to 6 months.
We’ve put together this guide to walk you through all of the specific details related to freezing kitchari. We will share with you some basic information about kitchari and how it is made as we go through all of the details.
Keep reading to learn everything you should know about freezing kitchari, and more.
A Guide to Kitchari – What You Should Know
Kitchari may be a term you are not familiar with or maybe you are here because you’ve recently started hearing about kitchari and want to know more. Or maybe you have come to love kitchari and make it regularly but simply want some more knowledge about it.
Whatever your reason, you’ve come to the right place. We have plenty of information to share with you and ultimately will discuss properly storing kitchari, particularly freezing it and the process you should follow.
What is Kitchari?
So what is kitchari anyways? You keep hearing the term and know plenty of people trying it but you need to know more.
Kitchari was originally a cleansing food from Ayurveda practices. It has cleansing properties and comes with a slew of nutritional benefits but the primary purpose of kitchari was cleansing and detox.
The kitchari is made up of split mung beans and rice. It is simply a combination of grains that have a variety of spices and flavors added to them. To an extent, you can personalize it to your tastes.
When you think of beans and rice your first thought is probably not cleaning. In fact, some easting styles specifically steer you away from these foods but split mung beans and basmati rice, specifically, particularly combined, really are great – for everyone.
How Kitchari is Made
In an effort to best prepare you for the freezing process, we think it is prudent to walk you through how kitchari is made. When you understand the primary process of making kitchari it can help prepare you for understanding the freezing process better.
Many times, the overall success of freezing foods comes from understanding the ingredients and the processes that have affected the foods and how those combinations could affect your storage process.
We’re sharing a basic kitchari recipe with you here, directly from the Ayurveda recipe guide. There are variations to this recipe, but this will be a great way to provide you with a general overview of the food.
The spice combination used in kitchari can vary greatly depending on your needs or particular issues at the time of cleansing.
- You will need basmati rice, split yellow mung dal, water, ginger (ginger root chopped or grated is recommended), mineral salt, ghee, coriander, cumin powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, hing, fresh cilantro, and your choice of assorted vegetables.
- Wash or rinse rice and mung dal separately. Wash them very well and pick through them for stones.
- Place rice and dal in water and cover it. Cook until it is soft, which typically takes about 20 minutes.
- Prepare your vegetables while the rice and dal are cooking initially. Slice them and dice them however you please, but make them bite-sized.
- Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- In a separate pan, make your sauce. Combine ghee and any seeds and sauté until the seeds begin to pop.
- Add other spices and stir everything together to release and mix the flavors.
- Add the sauce to the cooked rice, dal, and veggie mixture and stir together.
- Add your mineral salt and fresh cilantro and stir. Serve and enjoy.
Making kitchari is relatively easy but it does take a little bit of time between preparation and cooking. It also is not a one-pot meal but the good news is it is not overly complicated to put together or make and you’re not likely to mess it up.
Proper Storage and Freezing of Kitchari
Kitchari makes relatively large batches but you can also make it ahead and freeze it for later. You definitely don’t want to toss out those leftovers because it freezes really well and maintains in the freezer for several months.
If you anticipate that you will use your kitchari within a few days, you can easily store it in the fridge and use it later. You simply need to make sure you let it cool to room temperature and store it in an airtight manner in the fridge.
If you need a long-term storage solution the freezer is a great option. Here are your steps to storing in the freezer.
- Allow kitchari to cool to room temperature prior to preparing for freezing.
- Kitchari is typically soupy so it is best stored in a well-sealing container for freezer purposes. You can spoon it into a freezer bag if you would like, just be sure to store it well and leave about an inch of headspace.
- Place in the freezer.
- Freeze your kitchari up to 6 months.
See? Easy peasy. You can store that kitchari away and it is SO simple! There is literally no way to mess that up, unless perhaps you don’t get your packaging sealed well enough prior to placing it in the freezer.
Using Kitchari After Freezing
You successfully froze your kitchari a few weeks ago and you’re planning to serve it again later this week. What do you need to do since it is frozen?
- Remove your kitchari from the freezer the day before you intend to reheat it. If you forget, be sure you get it out of the freezer at least a few hours ahead of time. Let it thaw in the fridge, or as a quick fix at room temperature for 2-4 hours.
- Kitchari is best reheated in a pot on the stove but you can also reheat it in the microwave if you prefer.
- Place kitchari in a pot and heat on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Heat until warmed through. You may need to add a little bit of water if you feel as though it is dry or not soupy enough.
- To microwave, place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every minute. You may need additional time and can add it in 30-second increments until it is fully warmed.
From making to storage to reheating, kitchari tastes great and is simple to work with. It is full of dense nutrition and cleanses your body in various manners. You can mix up the spices and ingredients to serve the desired purpose.
Some recipes even make kitchari for a breakfast food and use cinnamon and sweet spices to change the flavor and make it more appropriate for such a meal. The great thing is, you can make this dish your own and it still holds its nutritional value.
We hope that this guide will be a useful resource for you as you go forth and make your own kitchari and freeze it for later use. Our intentions are to provide you with suitable information from start to finish, with a focus on freezing your kitchari.
In the following section, you will find a question and answer section that contains additional information valuable to the kitchari cause. We invite you to check them out to see if they may be of value to you.
What is Ayurveda?
We touched on Ayurveda because that is where kitchari originated from. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to medicine for your body and it is an aged approach that began in India.
Ayurveda is based around nourishing your mind, body, and spirit to keep it in good health overall.
What Makes Kitchari Healthy?
The ingredients and spices in kitchari are designed to cleanse the body. In Ayurveda, they balance the vata, pitta, and kapha doshas.
This food gently cleanses the body by providing highly valuable nutrition at the same time as pushing out the junk that has been consumed and invaded your system.