Monday, July 26, 2010

Fad Diet meets Eastern Religion

In an attempt to heal my cousin’s liver, I offered to do a liver cleanse with her. We took this book The Fat Flush Diet, which sadly appeared along with the other low carb diets, but it focuses specifically on liver and gallbladder health, so we’re doing it. Instead of following their meals, which aren’t vegetarian, we are substituting kicharee for our meals. Kicharee is an aruyvedic liver cleanse. I am also taking Whole Body Cleanse liver supplements, which my cousin has already done. Their detox made me sick for the first few days. We’re doing it for 2 weeks—it’s good for healthy and sick livers alike!

So in mornings and at night:

1 tbls. flax seed oil

Hot water with lemon

Cranwater with flax seed meal in it.


Drink cranwater all day.

For the Kicharee:

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • mung beans (as seen in the jar on the top left of the photo)
  • brown rice
  • ghee (clarified butter) or sesame oil
  • cumin seed
  • coriander seed
  • cumin powder
  • coriander powder
  • turmeric powder

First, prepare the mung beans:

  1. Rinse the beans
  2. Cook one part beans to 6 parts water
  3. Add a pinch of salt
  4. As the beans cook, you can skim off the froth on the top of the water
  5. Cook beans until soft, about 2 hours (add more water if needed)

Next, prepare the rice:

  1. Make the rice per directions with a pinch of salt (or 1 cup rice to 2 1/4 cups water, simmering for about 45 minutes)

Finally, here’s how to make kicharee:

  1. Measure equal portions of each spice: whole coriander seed, whole cumin seed, powdered coriander seed, powdered cumin, powdered turmeric
  2. Heat the whole coriander and whole cumin in sesame oil or ghee, stirring frequently
  3. After a couple of minutes, stir in the powdered spices
  4. Stir in some mung beans, adding water to make a soupy consistency
  5. Cook for 5-10 minutes
  6. Serve kicharee (the mung bean and spices you’ve just created) over rice
  7. Optional: Steam organic green veggies and add to the meal

I prepare about 2 cups dry beans and 2 cups dry rice to last for a couple days. I save these in the fridge and then prepare the beans with sesame oil and spices individually for each meal so it’s hot and fresh each time. I serve the kicharee a little soupy on top of the rice, and then pile lightly steamed organic green veggies on top of it all. (My favorite veggies to use are steamed dinosaur kale, also called lacinato kale, or broccoli.)

* When you follow this kicharee diet, you’ll probably feel hungry, even if eating it 3 or 4 times per day. That’s good! You’re giving your body a chance to devote energy to taking care of itself and not digest food.
* To mitigate your potential taste disappointment: the taste of kicharee is quite modest, not your typical Indian style meal full of spicyness and flavor.