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).