We’ve just returned from Glastonbury music festival. 5 days of mud, music, fun and excesses. We are exhausted and our bodies need some love and tenderness.
In the ayurvedic tradition, when your body is overworked and your digestive system is slugglish and unhappy, eating this dish, called kitchari, for a period of time gives the digestive system the break it needs for it to devote itself to healing without needing to fast. And, it couldn’t come at a better time.
Kitchari is normally a mix of basmati rice and mung beans (the ones that bean sprouts come from) or lentils that have been soaked to increase their digestibility. It is then cooked together along with various spices and vegetables to create a casserole.
- 1½ cups basmati rice (brown or white)
- ¾ cups mung beans or green lentils
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch asafoetida (a spice also called hing- available at Indian and Chinese grocers- or leave it out if you can't find it)
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 TBSP mustard seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 TBSP ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground fennel
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- Optional: any vegetables of your choice such as onions, garlic, zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, squash, green vegetables.
- Soak rice and beans separately overnight in plenty of water.
- The next day rinse the rice and beans and put into a heavy bottomed pot.
- Add water, turmeric and asafoetida.
- Cook over medium heat until the water is mostly absorbed.
- Sauté seeds until the pop in a bit of coconut oil.
- Add onions, ginger, garlic, or hard vegetables such as carrots or squash to the spices and cook for a few minutes, until they begin to soften
- Then add kitchari mixture, a little water and any soft vegetables like greens, zucchini, or broccoli.
- Put a lid on it and cook gently until the water is absorbed and the vegetables are cooked.
- Season with salt.
Aside from being cleansing and healthy, it also tastes pretty good, if I do say so myself!