Gather Your Ingredients:
- 1 cup uncooked split yellow mung beans* (see ‘for sensitive digestion’ below)
- ¼ – ½ cup uncooked white basmati rice
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger root
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp., each: black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder
- ½ tsp., each: coriander powder, fenugreek powder, and fennel seeds
- 1 pinch hing – also called asafoetida (optional)
- 7-10 cups water or vegetable broth
- ½ tsp., salt (sea salt is best)
- Optional: root vegetables or leafy vegetables and fresh cilantro leaves
Kitchari is well known in the world of Ayurveda, it can be served as an everyday meal or you can use it for cleansing and balancing anytime your gut or body needs a reset. For a digestive reset you can eat kitchari as a “mono-diet” – in other words- eat only kitchari at each meal of the day. This dish is balanced and nourishing so you can continue a kitchari mono-diet for many in a row days, which is a common treatment in Ayurvedic panchakarma clinics.
This recipe makes a big pot with 4 – 6 servings.
Assemble Your Creation:
* For sensitive digestive systems, gas or bloating: Before starting to prepare the kitchari soak the beans and rice overnight.
** Please note that the proportions of beans, rice and water are not hard fast. You can experiment with the ration of beans to rice to change the texture of the finished dish and discover what you like best.
*** Please note that the proportions of spices are not hard fast either. You can experiment with more or less of any of the spices. Realize that powdered spice is more concentrated than whole seeds, if you substitute you’ll need to adjust the amount used.
To make the batch of kitchari, in a large cooking pot, bring 7 cups of water to a boil over high heat, set the other 1+ cups aside to add as needed.
Drain and rinse the rice and mung in a strainer until the water runs clear. Add them to the pot of water once it comes to a boil, add the spices, keep the pot at high heat until the mixture returns to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil turn the temperature to low.
If you’re adding hard vegetables such as roots, add the cubed veggies now. Cover the pot but leave a little crack in the lid, simmer for 30 minutes without stirring.
After 30 minutes check to see if the mixture is still submerged with water, if it’s not add the extra cup of water or more water until it is.
Return the lid with a crack and cook for an additional 10 – 20 minutes.
Kitchari should have a consistency along the lines of thick soup or a light stew. The beans should be completely tender. Add more water and continue to cook as necessary.
If you’re adding quick cooking veggies such as greens add those when there is about 10 minutes left of cooking time. Just place them on top of the mixture. They will steam as the soup finishes it’s cooking time.
Ladle it into your bowl and top with ghee, cilantro, and extra salt and pepper to taste. If you are using your pot of kitchari for a mono-diet cleanse, you can leave it at room temperature throughout the day and reheat your desired amount at each of you 3 meals during the day.