One of Ayurveda's most beloved foods, Kitchari (aka kicharee, kitcheree, kitchari, kichadi, etc.) is something like a casserole: warm, soft, and comforting. This one-pot dish is wonderfully nutritious and is a balanced meal. Round it out with some steamed greens, and dinner is served!This recipe is tri-doshic (ie: balancing to all three doshas).
- 1 c. mung dal (or mung bean)
- 1 c. rice (ie: white Basmati)
- sesame oil
- ½ tsp. mustard seeds
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. rock salt
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 pinch asafoetida / hing
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. fennel powder (optional)
- 4 c. water
- 1 inch fresh ginger grated or chopped
- Soak the mung dal in water for a half hour or longer, then drain. *Note: IF you are using mung BEAN, soak it overnight.
- Wash the rice in 2–3 changes of cool water until the water runs clear.
- Cover the bottom of a dutch oven pot with enough sesame oil to coat the bottom. Warm the oil until a drop of water on the oil causes a sizzle. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Heat the seeds until they begin to pop and you can smell them.
- Add the drained mung dal. Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes.
- Add the rock salt, turmeric powder, and asafoetida. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring often to avoid the dal sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the water, rice, remaining herbs, and ginger.
- Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until all of the water has cooked off, approximately a half hour.
You may alter this recipe in any number of ways:
- add one can of coconut milk (balancing to Vata and Pitta)
- add dried fruit (balancing to Vata and Pitta)
- add nuts (balancing to Vata and Pitta)
- add vegetables such as carrots, onions, shallots, garlic, broccoli (balancing to Vata and Kapha)
- use vegetable or chicken stock (balancing to Vata)
- add more water for a more soupy kitcheree (balancing to Vata)
- use warming spices such as cinnamon and black pepper (balancing to Vata and Kapha)
- use cooling spices and herbs such as cilantro (balancing to Pitta)
- increase that amount of dal relative to rice to be more Kapha-balancing (ie: ½ cup rice to 1½ cups dal).