First meal off the cleanse

Today we had separate foods for dinner, our first meal coming off the kitchadi cleanse. After a week of one-pot meals where the foods had time to stew together and get to know each other for a while before being eaten, we wanted to make this meal nice and easy to digest, so i used ingredients that are also in kitchadis. This way, the body would not be shocked into digesting a bunch of foods with very different qualities. White basmati rice is the easiest grain to digest, and split mung (mung daal) the easiest bean. Broccoli is a favorite of the Japanese ladies, and we also had sweet turnips. The fresh oregano from Durga Farm on Kauai is amazing- some leaves the size of my palm! Oregano is also a great herb for digestion.

White basmati rice, ghee, mineral salt

Split mung beans (soupy), ghee, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, sesame seeds, coriander powder, kombu, asafoetida, mineral salt

Broccoli, fresh chopped oregano leaves, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, coriander seeds, coriander powder, cardamom powder, mineral salt

Sweet turnips, ghee, fenugreek powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, mineral salt



Pumpkin and Coconut Kitchadi


This afternoon’s kitchadi was the last of the cleanse. It’s always nice to leave the students with a delicious impression of what can seem like a very long cleanse. We happened to have some fresh coconuts, so I scraped out the meat and added it in for a special twist. I started with Hale Pule’s simple kitchadi recipe and added a few cinnamon sticks, some extra cardamom seeds and coriander for flavor and balancing. Coconut can be simmered with spices to absorb some flavor and soften up, or thrown in towards the end for a yummy little crunch- just be sure to chew well!

5 c brown basmati rice
2 1/2 c split mung beans
14 T ghee
2 T salt
Pea-sized chunk of asafoetida
6 strips kombu, cut small
3 T cumin seeds
3 T brown mustard seeds
3 T coriander seeds
4 cinnamon sticks
4 T fresh grated ginger
2 T fresh grated turmeric
1 T cardamom powder
2 t cardamom seeds (removed from pods)
1 T coriander powder
2 t cinnamon powder
2 c fresh coconut chunks (chopped up in food processor)
10 c pumpkin, chopped
11 c collard greens, chopped

Cooling Kitchadi with Zucchini, Sweet Potato and Napa Cabbage

imageThe sun finally came out and warmed things up! This cooling kitchadi features cooling spices such as fennel seeds, curry leaves and coriander. I used sunflower oil instead of ghee, which benefits the spleen. I had never combined sweet potato, zucchini and cabbage but it all came out very delicious. Six days into our kitchadi cleanse, the yoga students are beginning to really enjoy it after some resistance at the beginning. Tomorrow evening we will have a “regular” meal of separate foods but I will always love kitchadi.

5 c brown basmati rice
2 1/2 c split mung beans
14 T sunflower oil
3 T cumin seeds
3 T brown mustard seeds
3 T coriander seeds
2 T fennel seeds
1 T 2 t mineral salt
18 fresh curry leaves
4 T freshly grated ginger
2 T freshly grated turmeric
1 1\2 T cardamom powder
2 t fennel seed powder
1 T coriander powder
5 c sweet potato, chopped
5 c zucchini, chopped
11 c Napa Cabbage, chopped

Liver/Gall Bladder Cleansing Kitchadi with Beets and Greens


The pink Kitchadi! This one is great for cleansing and detoxing- with burdock, dandelion root, beets and beet greens, this was a hit with the Japanese ladies. Slightly sweet (because of the beets) but definitely having some bitterness with the other roots, this kitchadi will do your body good and taste great. Hale Pule’s recipe calls for barley instead of basmati. Though basmati rice is easier for the body to digest, the bulk and fibrous quality of barley helps to move matter through the digestive tract and stimulates the liver. We didn’t have any, so I went with brown basmati. For additional ease of elimination, I added extra ghee and some extra spicing.

5 c brown basmati rice (or barley)
2 1/2 c split mung beans
16 T ghee
3 T cumin seeds
3 T brown mustard seeds
3 T coriander seeds seeds
1 T 2 t mineral salt
4 T fresh grated ginger
1 T fresh grated turmeric
1 T cardamom powder
1 T coriander powder
2 c fresh burdock, chopped
1/2 c dandelion root, chopped (dried and reconstituted)
10 c beets, chopped
Top with parsley, cilantro, ground flax seed
10 c beet greens, chopped

Digestive Kitchadi with Pumpkin and Broccoli


So delicious! Fresh organic pumpkin from Durga Farm in Anahola, Kauai, is the creamiest, most flavorful pumpkin on earth. This kitchadi is good for stimulating digestion, with bay leaves, warming oregano, and heating ajwain (celery) seeds. The students are still adjusting to the time difference and full schedule, but their appetites have been steadily increasing! After the pot was licked clean at lunch, I increased the recipe and made a thicker version for dinner and there was still only 1/3 c left at the end. Many people’s appetites increase when this pumpkin is involved.

4 c brown basmati rice (5 c white basmati for dinner)
2 c split mung beans (2 1/2 c for dinner)
12 T ghee (split V/RB)
1 T 2 t mineral salt (T RB, 2 t V)
2 Heaping T cumin seeds (RB)
2 Heaping T coriander seeds (RB)
1 T mustard seeds (RB)
6 strips kombu (RB)
12 bay leaves (RB)
Pea-sized chunk of asafoetida (RB)
2 1/2 t ajwain seeds (1 1/2 t RB, 1 t V)
1 T cardamom powder (V)
3 T fresh grated ginger (V)
1 T fresh grated turmeric (V)
2 T oregano (V)
10 c pumpkin, chopped
8 c broccoli, chopped
Water as needed
Top with ground flax seed and fresh parsley or cilantro

Cook the veggies and (V) ingredients in a big pot with enough room to add the rice/beans and (RB) ingredients, which are cooked in a pressure cooker. As always, heat ghee, add spices and simmer until their aroma comes up, add veggies or rice/beans and stir to coat the food in spices for a minute or two. Add water as needed, cover and let cook! Rice/bean time was about 22 mins at pressure, veggies took about 20 mins cooking.


Kidney Cleansing Kitchadi with Carrots, Yacon and Purple Cabbage

Today we had a kidney cleansing kitchadi, a bit of a diuretic with burdock root (fresh from Durga Farm), yacon, carrots, and purple cabbage. So colorful! I also threw in some mung bean sprouts that needed to be used, and instead of water I used leftover tea (Green Rooibos with cinnamon sticks). The tea worked well as the recipe I was modifying called for cinnamon anyway- it’s warming, sweet taste helps to balance the astringency of the adzuki beans and burdock. This recipe was a bit too heavy on veggies, especially for active people needing some more grounding, substantive food. In the evening, I did not use sprouts, I added more rice (4 c, white basmati), which also came out wonderful.

3 3/4 c brown basmati rice
3 1/2 c adzuki beans, soaked (more like 1 1/2 c dry)
Pea-sized chunk of asafoetida (RB)
1 T + 2 t salt (T RB, 2 t V)
6 strips kombu, chopped (RB)
1 T fennel seeds (V)
1 T brown mustard seeds (RB)
2 T cumin seeds (RB)
2 T coriander seeds (RB)
12 bay leaves (RB)
18 fresh curry leaves (yum!) (V)
1 t sweet cinnamon (V)
1 T cardamom powder (V)
1 t cardamom seeds (removed from pods) (V)
2 T turmeric (V)
6 c carrots chopped
6 c yacon root chopped
2 c burdock root chopped
2 c mung bean sprouts
Water or tea as needed

If you’re reducing the recipe, you could do it all together in a pressure cooker, releasing the pressure just before the rice and beans are done to add veggies, and then take it back up to pressure for the last 5 mins or so. Otherwise, heat ghee in a pressure cooker for rice and beans (RB), and a pot for veggies (V). Put all RB spices in the pressure cooker, and the V spices in the pot, and cook until their aroma comes up. Add the rice and beans to pressure cooker, and the veggies to the veggie pot, and stir until the food is coated in spices. Add water in the right proportion to rice and beans, and enough water to just cover the veggies. In the above amounts, pressure cooking time was 22 mins at pressure and veggies cooked in about 25 mins.

Enjoy, and let your kidneys rejoice!
Recipe modified from Myra Lewin’s at Hale Pule

Warming Sweet Potato Kitchadi


Today was our first day of another 200 hr Japanese Yoga Teacher Training here on Kauai, with many students coming from Tokyo. As with all kitchadi cleanses, we had kunyi (soupy rice) for breakfast. Tea today was Green Rooibos with cinnamon sticks and honey (yum)! Weather was cool and rainy all day, so I made a warming sweet potato kitchadi with kale for lunch and again for dinner. For those of you in *really* cold weather, if you want some extra warming, don’t be afraid to add a little more heat to your meal: cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon are all warming spices. Especially the peppercorns and clove, so don’t get too crazy with those or you’ll cause pitta (fiery dosha) imbalance.
Below are the ingredients, serving 28 people. I cooked the rice/beans/RB spices in a pressure cooker and the veggies/V spices in a separate pot, and combined them at the end. I was cooking by intuition so I’m sorry for this mess of a “recipe,” but it came out very good!

3 3/4 c brown basmati rice (white for dinner- easier to digest before bedtime)
1 3/4 c split mung beans
12 T ghee (6 T RB, 6 T V)
4 t mineral salt (2 t RB, 2 t V)
4 strips kombu, cut into little pieces (RB)
1 pea-sized chunk of real asafoetida (you can use 1/4 – 1/2 t powder) (RB)
1 T mustard seeds (RB)
2 T cumin seeds (RB)
2 T coriander seeds (RB)
2 t coriander powder (RB) -coriander is cooling, to balance out a bit of heat
9 cloves (5 RB, 4 V)
4 sweet cinnamon sticks (2 RB, 2V)
2 t cinnamon (1 RB, 1 V)
1 T cardamom powder (2 t RB, 1 t V)
2 t cardamom seeds, taken out of the pods (V)
3 T fresh grated ginger (V)
1 T fresh grated turmeric (V)
10 c chopped sweet potatoes
10 c chopped dino kale
Water as needed (1:4 mung, 1:3 brn rice, 1:2 white rice, enough to just cover veggies).

I cooked the veggies in a big pot with enough room to add the rice/beans from the pressure cooker. As always, heat oil and spices until their aroma comes up, add veggies or rice/beans and stir to coat the food in spices for a minute or two, add water as needed, cover and let cook! Rice/bean time was about 22 mins at pressure, veggies took about 45 mins cooking.

Recipe inspired by Myra Lewin at Hale Pule


The healthiest pancakes you will ever eat. These simple little gems are made with white basmati rice, split mung beans, mineral salt and ghee. They are easy to digest, taste delicious, and are a great snack to take while traveling as they are easy to carry and provide a nice augmenting/extractive balanced meal. Try them which ghee, rolled up with veggies, dipped in chutney, hummus, or soups!

2 1/2 c basmati rice, soaked overnight
1 c split mung beans, soaked overnight
2-3 t mineral salt
2 T ghee (liquid)
Water as needed
Extra ghee or oil for the pan

1 t turmeric
1 t coriander powder
1 T cumin seeds
1 T fennel seeds
Any other spices you want! Be creative, use your intuition.

Measure out the rice and beans the night before cooking and soak them in water. I usually soak them in separate bowls. Be sure to add plenty of water as the beans will soak up about 3 times their volume, depending on your climate.
Drain the soaked rice and beans and rinse well. Put the rice and beans in a blender (high powered blenders like the Vitamix work very well) with some water and add the salt, ghee, and spices as well. Blend it up until smooth as possible. Consistency should be about the same as pancake batter, kinda soupy and thick but pours easily. If you have to blend several batches, be sure to stir all the batter together well, and we’re ready to go!
For cooking, it is best to use a stainless steel pan (non-stick and coated pans release toxins into food over time). Heat up the pan with a thin coating of ghee or coconut oil, about a teaspoon or two for a medium pan. Be sure the ghee or oil is nice and hot but be careful not to burn it (you’ll know it has burnt when it smells foul or starts smoking). I start with medium/high heat to get it going and then reduce to medium or medium/low a little later in the process. Pour the batter as you would to make pancakes, flipping each dosa after a minute or two, and adding extra ghee or oil to the pan as needed between dosas. Don’t get discouraged at the beginning if they’re not turning out- it usually takes me several tries before getting it right, between the heat, the amount of ghee/oil and the size of the dosas. Every stove is different and ingredient combinations can be unique, so being ok with experimentation is the best- enjoy the process knowing you are creating something healthy and delicious!


Ayurvedic Muffins

This recipe is a variation of Myra Lewin’s Ayurvedic Muffins. Though they are more like little morsels of deliciousness than the fluffy muffins many are used to, they have wonderful flavor and the right amount of sweetness without the sugar. Though you can substitute ghee for oil and milk for water, this version happens to be vegan. Experiment with different dried fruits, nuts, maple syrup, chai or rooibos tea for liquid, different flours, oils, spices, etc. Have fun!

2 c rice flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c coconut flour
1 handful shredded or flaked coconut
1 handful of raisins
1 t cinnamon
1 t cardamom
1/2 t mineral salt
3 medium ripe bananas
1/4 c coconut oil
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
Water or tea as needed

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl with shredded coconut and raisins. Mash in another bowl or blend the bananas, dates and coconut oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, adding water or tea as needed until a dough is formed. Roll into balls and bake at 360 for about 15 minutes. Water and baking time will vary with muffin size, altitude, climate, etc.


Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

I’ve been in Breckenridge, CO for three days now and I forgot how much difference a few thousand feet in elevation makes, going from around 6,200 ft in Tahoe to just over 9,000 ft here.   It has been incredibly cold, dry, and windy the whole time.   We have humidifiers in every room!  Eating grounding, warming foods like this soup has definitely helped my body acclimate.

  • 7 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 small golden beets, chopped
  • 2 T cinnamon ghee
  • 2 T fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 t fenugreek seeds
  • 1 t cinnamon powder
  • 1 1/2 t cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 t coriander powder
  • 1 t turmeric powder
  • a few dashes nutmeg
  • 1/2 t mineral salt

Simmer the fenugreek seeds and ginger in ghee for a minute or so in a pot, and then add the rest of the spices.  When the aromas come up, add the carrot and beet.  Stir the veggies to coast them, and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until they are soft.  Pour it all into a blender and blend until smooth.  Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

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