I first tried Kitchari when I was giving Ayurvedic medicine a try. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest healing systems, and takes a holistic approach. Kitchari is an easy to digest dish that is the basis of an Ayurvedic cleanse. While Ayurveda is an interesting topic to be sure, I didn’t find it well suited for me, but give it a try and make your own determination. There are many Ayurvedic practitioners and tons of information on Ayurveda, so do your research. At any rate, we have this dish at my house once a week or so, because it’s just plain good! You can vary the vegetables you use, but stay away from the nightshades like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 yellow onion, diced (yields about 1 1/3 cups)
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut in 1″ lengths
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped small
- 1 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup white basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed
- 1 cup dried moong dal or red lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- Flaked Coconut
- Toasted Cashews
- Chopped Cilantro
- Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and toast them until the mustard seeds start to pop, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, ginger, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the vegetables and spices from burning.
- Once the onions have softened, add the salt, turmeric, cloves, and black pepper and stir until the spices coat the vegetables. Add the rice, moong dal (or red lentils), vegetable broth, and water. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer the kitchari for about 20 minutes. After 15 minutes of cooking, check to see if there are still enough liquids in the pot. If you notice that the liquids are completely absorbed by the rice and beans, add 1/2 to 1 cup of water and stir to incorporate.
- Remove the lid and check to see if the rice is tender. If the kitchari is looking too runny, let it simmer, uncovered, for a few more minutes. If the kitchari is too thick, turn off the heat and add 1/2 to 1 cup of water and stir. Taste and see if you need to add a small pinch of salt.
- Serve the kitchari in bowls, along with whatever optional toppings you choose.