Our favourite Kitchari recipe
Jul 31, 2015
Kitchari is a time friendly, easily digested, nourishing one pot meal. We love making and eating it all year round and especially use it in our Seasonal Detox - we make it extra liquid during cleansing time.
What is Kitchari?
It's NOT rice and dhal! Kitchari is Basmati rice and split mung dhal activated through soaking over night then cooked with digestive spices and optional vegetables.
We like to choose what particular spices and veg we use on the day - depending on how we feel and what's in the pantry! There are some non-negotiables for us like Ghee, fresh Coriander leaf and Ginger. When our local coriander is not in season we admit to buying it from the local grocers who bring it in!
Split hulled mung beans don't produce gas in our systems like lentils or chickpeas can. It's because they are a bean not a lentil. We soak and rinse the rice and mung beans, and use Asafoetida which all helps reduce gas production.
Kitchari is the traditional detox food of Ayurveda because it fits with the detox principles. The body detoxes when it’s given the opportunity. Light eating, ingesting all 6 tastes and nourishing the 5 senses create this place! Kitchari is a complete food. You can eat it for weeks, or a day. It’s like baby food – simple to cook and digest. It’s eaten for detox and rejuvenation. You can rely on it when you’re stressed, sick, having unhealthy cravings, or too busy to prepare other food.
For 1 day 1 person (3 meals) during Cleanse time
- ½ cup split yellow mung beans or 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- ¾ cup Basmati rice (If suffering from diarrhoea use more rice than mung beans. When cleansing or constipated use more mung beans than rice – eg: 1 cup beans)
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp ghee + more for garnishing when serving (When active cleansing 3 days mono-diet don’t use extra ghee on top but you can sauté spices in ghee to begin)
- 1 tsp each black mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek seeds, and turmeric (mustard seeds and fenugreek are not essential but tasty and beneficial in their own right)
- 1 pinch Hing (asafoetida) and cloves (Hing is a smelly herb which tastes ok and eliminates the gas from eating legumes – it is not essential if you rinse or soak mung beans very well)
- 3 bay leaves (or the untrue Bay which is the cinnamon tree leaves)
- 6-8 cups water (for thickness you prefer, less water is needed if soaking longer time)
- Rock salt, sea salt or Bragg’s aminos and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup chopped fresh coriander
- Lemon slice or spoon of fresh yoghurt
- Wash 3-4 times and soak rice and beans overnight if possible or 2-8 hours. This is especially important for people with weak digestion, gas or bloating. If you can’t soak overnight then par boil beans and rice, drain, rinse off the bean scum and repeat 2-3 times. Wash together until water runs clear.
- Heat a large pot on low heat, melt the ghee. Add the spices (except bay leaves) and roast for a short while until fragrant, careful not to burn them so move them about with a spoon. Add dhal (mung) and rice and stir through. Add water and bay and turn up heat to medium to bring to a boil.
- Boil for 15 mins on medium heat. Turn heat back to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dhal and rice breaks down and becomes soft (30-40 mins). If you’re adding in vegetables (2-3 cups) add in the ones that take longer cooking time first. Add leafy greens and other quick cooking vegetables during the last 10 mins.
- Add salt or other to taste. Garnish with fresh coriander, lemon or yoghurt. Add more water when you warm it later in the day.
Note: Some Ayurvedic recipes recommend cooking with Turmeric and Ginger only and adding the other spices, tempered in the Ghee, at the end. This is the way we love to cook our Dhal..and we'll share that recipe in a few weeks!
Enjoy your Kitchari :)