Why this one pot dish is so popular
It are the small things in life that can have a huge impact on our health. Picking the right foods for you at a particular moment is definitely one of those. Because it are the things we put into our mouths which transforms into our bodily tissues (or dhātus in Sanskrit) and allow for health to arise or disease to kick in.
Taking responsibility of your own health can easily be done by adding kitchari into your diet. Kitchari (which literally means ‘mixture’) is an protein rich dish traditionally made out of basmati rice and yellow split mung beans topped of with spices. It is good for all mind-body types and can be used for cleansing (mono-diet). Because of this we need to use yellow split mung beans. All the other beans are too drying and may aggravate intestinal gas especially in the more the more airy-types (vata).
Eating kitchari promotes digestion, nourishes your tissues, rejuvenates and supports cell repair. Besides, it is very easy to prepare and therefore fits very well in our modern life.
Ingredients for 2-4 persons (depending on constitution)
3 cups yellow mung beans (split)
1 cup basmati rice
15 cups fresh water
Fresh ginger (2 cm)
3 tbs. ghee or 2 tbs. coconut oil (for cooking) & 1 tsp. omega 3-6-9 oil (as topping)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
¼ tsp. hing or asafoetida
Ingredients for your topping (agni booster)
Fresh ginger (5 cm)
½ tsp. himalayan salt
Squeeze lemon juice
It's the small things in life that can make a huge difference
Soak the yellow split mung beans overnight (or at least 4 hours) to make them more juicy (and eliminate some dryness) before cooking.
Rinse the mung beans a couple of times until the water is clear.
Heat 1 tbs. ghee or coconut oil in a pan and add the turmeric and asafoetida or hing powder (to reduce the gas forming properties of the beans). Sauté for a couple of minutes before you add the soaked mung beans and the water to it.
Let it cook on low fire for about 20 minutes adding more water if necessary. Add the rice and continue to cook until all the beans are soft and broken up. If you want to add veggies add them for the last to minutes so they do not overcook.
Prepare the topping to promote digestion (agni): chop 5 cm fresh ginger and add ½ tsp. himalayan salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to it.
Once the kitchari is almost ready you start to sauté the chopped ginger, cumin-, coriander- & fennel seeds in a separate pan with 2 tbs. ghee or coconut oil. If you want you can now add some of your favourite spices to it like cardamom, black pepper or some curry powder.
When the spices are nicely sautéd you can add it together with some himalayan salt and black pepper to the kitchari and let it simmer for another 2 minutes or so. Adding the spices at the end of the cooking process helps to retain the flavours and therapeutic value of the herbs.
Serve the kitchari with some nicely chopped coriander leaves, a tsp. salsa and add the ghee (or if you prefer to eat vegan 1 tsp. omega 3-6-9 oil) to it.
If you feel inspired to learn more about Ayurveda and how it can support you in finding balance you are more than welcome at the Introduction to Ayurveda workshop.