This is kitchari. Indian comfort food. A traditional Ayurvedic cleansing dish used for detoxifying and healing.
Grounding, calming, warming, balancing.
Kitchari can be made in infinite ways, but in its basic form is a stew/porridge-like mixture of split mung beans and grain warmed with spices and enhanced by vegetables. Perfect for giving your digestion a break while still providing the body with a nourishing and filling meal. And even more perfect now that it’s fall and the cold is starting to seep into my bones, when I desire nothing more than curling up on the couch with a steaming bowl of comfort.
In this specific recipe I use both whole and split mung beans for extra protein and fiber, but adding a grain like brown rice/quinoa/barley etc. to the mix is the traditional way and tastes just as well. Use whatever veggies you’re into or whatever can be found in the fridge; this time I felt like sticking to solid greens.
Since discovering the wondrous kitchari I’ve made it several times, each a bit differently, and can see it being a regular part of my diet this winter. I like the leftovers especially warmed up for lunch after a chilly morning on the farm :)
Green kitchari, adapted from here
- 1 cup mung dal (split yellow mung beans)
- ½ cup whole mung beans, quinoa, rice, or grain of choice
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable broth (use 2 more cups water if you don’t have it)
- 1 inch ginger root, minced or grated
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 3 cups broccoli (stems included), chopped into smallish pieces
- 2 cups greens with stems (kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc), chopped – I used sweet potato leaves which are awesome btw!
- 2 t olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
- ½ t coriander powder
- ½ t cumin powder
- ½ t mustard seeds
- ½ t turmeric powder
- ½ t mineral salt, or more to taste
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
Rinse and drain whole mung beans, then place in a pot and cover with 1 inch water. Bring to a boil on the stove, then lower to simmer, cover, and cook 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain excess water and set aside. *If you’re using grain, cook accordingly.
Rinse and drain mung dal. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil/ghee and saute the mustard seeds until they pop. Add onions and ginger root and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add spices (not salt), rinsed mung dal, water and broth. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cover, and cook 7-10 minutes, stirring the broccoli in halfway through. When dal is soft but not mushy, stir in the greens and drained mung beans and turn off the heat. Add mineral salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve. Great by itself or accompanied by flatbread or rice!
Here’s to a healthy, cozy, stress-free fall!