Kitchari is basic to the Ayurvedic way of life. Composed of basmati rice and mung dal, it has as many variations as there are cooks who prepare it. A one-pot dish, kitchari originates on the Asian subcontinent and has references dating back thousands of years. The skillful use of spices and vegetables can produce balancing effects for the three bodily doshas. It has many qualities but being quick and easy to prepare makes it a popular dish for almost every lifestyle.
Basmati rice and mung dal together create a balanced food that is a good protein combination and is tridoshic. This complete food is easy to digest and gives strength and vitality. It nourishes all the tissues of the body.
Kitchari is the preferred food to use when fasting on a mono-fast or while going through cleansing programs such as panchakarma. Kitchari is excellent for detoxification and de-aging of the cells.
Kitchari means mixture, usually of two grains. This is one kitchari recipe that is particularly nourishing and easy to digest.
Vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus, sweet potato , carrot.
For Vata or Kapha conditions: add a pinch of ginger powder
For Pitta: leave out the mustard seeds
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup mung dal (split yellow)
6 cups (approx.) water
1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated
A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
2 tsp. ghee
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)
Carefully pick over rice and dal. Wash each separately. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.
While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavors. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the mineral salt and chopped fresh Coriander and serve.
Vegetable Khichdi with Soaked Lentils.
For centuries, all throughout India, Khichdi has been thought of as comfort food, for its gentle cleansing and detoxing properties, which over time brings balance and wellness to the body.
In its traditional form, Khichdi consists of mung beans or lentils, cooked with rice (or buckwheat), vegetables and mild Indian spices and can vary greatly depending on the region.
Vegetable khichdi recipe :
Vegetable Khichdi (aka Khichadi) an Indian “Detox” meal made with soaked mung beans (Sprouted mung beans are exceptionally good) or lentils and buckwheat (or brown rice) vegetables & soothing tur meric. Restorative and cleansing.
½ cup diced onion
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
1/2 tsp curry powder, more to taste
1 small dried red chili pepper, crumbled (or half for less spicy)
¾ tsp kosher salt/ Table salt
¼ cup split mung beans, split lentils (or whole mung beans or whole lentils- soaked overnight)
½ cup toasted buckwheat (kashi) or (soaked, brown basmati rice)
1 ½ cup water
1 cup veggie broth
2 cups chopped vegetables (carrot, parsnips, celery, fennel bulb, cauliflower and broccoli )
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
Squeeze lemon or lime
1 diced tomato
In a medium pot, saute onion in oil over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium add ginger and garlic, and saute a few minutes, until golden and fragrant.
Add spices, pepper and salt and stirring, toast for a few more minutes. Add soaked mung beans and buckwheat or soaked brown rice. Add water, broth and 2 cups chopped veggies bring to a good boil. Cover. Turn heat to low, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Check for doneness.
Continue cooking for 5 to 10 more minutes if necessary. Some rice takes longer, and if you do not pre-soak your whole mung beans, or brown rice, you will need to add more water, which will change the recipe proportions and flavor…so try to soak if possible.
Once it is done, taste and adjust salt and seasonings. If you like a more “porridge-like” consistency add more veggie broth.
Spoon into bowls, top with fresh diced tomato and fresh cilantro or parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
A drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the tomatoes is nice too.
It is considered one of the most healing meals in Ayurveda because it is tri-doshic; balancing all three doshas. Very nourishing and easy to digest, it generally does not create any abdominal discomfort, like gas or bloating.