Kitchari: An Ayurvedic Healing Stew

Incredibly tasty and nourishing, kitchari (kichadi) is a popular Indian dish. Kitchari combines a protein-mung dhal (yellow, split mung beans)-with light and aromatic basmati rice plus a few veggies (use just 2-3 to keep the meal easily digestible). Kitchari is a rich, filling soup, a perfect meal to fill just about everyone’s belly!
In Ayurvedic Medicine, kitchari is regarded for strengthening agni or ‘digestive fire,’ supporting metabolism, and cleansing the liver. When agni is strong, the body is better able to assimilate food, excrete waste and protect against imbalances that can lead to health problems.

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white organic basmati rice
  • 1/2-1 cup yellow split mung beans
  • 6 cups water (approx. amount may vary based on vegetables added)
  • 2 T ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 T cumin seeds or powder
  • 1/2 T mustard seeds
  • 1 T coriander powder
  • 1/2 T ground turmeric
  • 2 T chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)* optional
  • 3 leaves of swiss chard (spinach or kale)
  • 1 1/2 cups assorted vegetables of your choice (carrots, sweet potato, squash, beets)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Garnish with cilantro, basil or dill
  • 1-2 T lime juice, per serving

Preparation

  1. Carefully pick over mung beans to remove any stones. Rinse rice and beans several times. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, warm coconut oil over medium heat. Once oil has warmed, add whole spices (fennel, cumin and mustard seeds) until they begin to pop. Add powdered spices and cook until aromatic. Stir well, being very careful not to burn them. Add rice and beans and combine well.
  3. When rice and beans begin sticking to sides of the pot, add ginger, salt and water. Cover and bring to boil. Decrease heat to simmer and allow to cook for approximately 20 min.
  4. While the rice and beans are cooking, chop the vegetables and garnish. Set aside.
  5. When rice and beans are cooked, add vegetables and mix well. Add more water if necessary (depending on how many vegetables you added you may need more liquid).
  6. Cover and allow vegetables to cook completely (10-20 minutes)
  7. Serve hot in bowls. Add lime juice and garnish to taste.