|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This recipe for kitchari is a soupy Ayurvedic mung bean and rice stew. Kitchari (“mish-mash” in Hindi) is traditionally used as a restorative food after illness or childbirth, but also as part of the Ayurvedic cleansing protocol called Panchakarma. This simple dish is composed of rice and mung or lentil dal cooked with spices. It is great to eat if you are doing a home cleanse. The Chinese think very highly of mung beans as a food for detoxification, and kitchari is particularly strengthening for the stomach, liver and large intestine. This recipe is an adaptation of Vasant Lad’s original. Unlike contemporary Ayurvedic cleansing recipes, this one utilizes whole grain rice which has excellent nutritive properties, and olive oil instead of ghee (clarified butter). You can either grind your own spices (my preference) or use pre-ground spices for this dish.
- ! ½ cups split yellow mung beans or red lentils
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
- 3 tablespoons dry unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 8 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Rinse the beans and rice and soak in filtered water for a few hours or overnight. Drain well.
Blend the ginger root and coconut together with 1 cup of water and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium flame in a heavy-bottomed pot. Grind up the cumin, coriander, and fennel and add to the pot along with the cardamom and turmeric*. Stir briefly, and then add the ginger-coconut mixture, bay leaves and cinnamon.
Stir well and add the beans and grains, along with 6 cups filtered water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 30 to 35 minutes, until the dal and rice are tender.
Add the chopped cilantro, stir well and serve.