Kitchari means mixture, usually of two grains. This is one kitchari recipe that is particularly nourishing and easy to digest.
An Ancient Food in Modern Times
Kitchari is basic to the Ayurvedic way of life. Composed of basmati rice and mung dal, it has as many variations as there are cooks who prepare it. A one-pot dish, kitchari originates on the Asian subcontinent and has references dating back thousands of years. It has many qualities but being quick and easy to prepare makes it a popular dish for almost every lifestyle.
Basmati rice and mung dal together create a balanced food that is a good protein combination and is tridoshic. This complete food is easy to digest and gives strength and vitality. It nourishes all the tissues of the body. Kitchari is excellent for detoxification and de-aging of the cells.
Lifestyle choices are one of the basic tenets of Ayurveda and diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
1/2 cup basmati rice 1 cup mung dal (split yellow) 6 cups (approx.) water 1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so) 2 tsp. ghee 1/2 tsp. coriander powder 1/2 tsp. cumin powder 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) Handful of fresh cilantro leaves 1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)
Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.
While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavors. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the mineral salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve.