Kitchari, also spelt kitcharee and kichadi, is a delicious and nutritious Ayurvedic recipe, used in cleansing and detoxifying the body. It is a perfect meal to help reset your digestive system, and nourish your bodily tissues. There are many variations of kitchari, however, the recipe always calls for moong dahl and basmati rice, cooked with various spices and sometimes seasonal vegetables. This particular recipe is intended to be eaten late spring and throughout Summer – the selected spices help to cool and calm (pitta), yet also ensure the digestive fire (agni) and the other doshas maintains their balance.
*SERVES 4 approx*
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- A handful of fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Yellow split moong dal – 1 cup (thoroughly rinsed & soaked for 1-3 hours)
- White Basmati rice – 1 cup (thoroughly rinsed). White basmati is sweet and cooling, and therefore perfect for Pitta and summer heat.
- 6 cups of hot water
- A bunch of fresh Cilantro stalks, finely chopped
- Fresh cilantro leaves (lightly chopped) & lemon juice – for garnishing
- Seasonal Vegetables (optional): Eg. baby spinach, diced zucchini, okra, green peas, chopped green beans, chopped asparagus.
- Wash (3-4 times) & soak dahl & rice. Drain ready for use.
- Cook fresh ginger and lentils and rice in hot water – bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- If using them, add seasonal vegetables about 5-10 minutes in, depending on which vegetables they are and how long they’ll take to cook (the smaller the vegetable is chopped, the later you must add it – don’t over cook your veg!).
- Whilst the lentils and rice are cooking, heat coconut oil on medium.
- Sauté the cumin seeds in the ghee until becoming fragrant.
- Add the rest of the spices (excluding turmeric powder) plus curry leaves & cook until more fragrant, without burning (a gas stove will be faster). Then, pour spice mixture into lentils and rice. Stir.
- Add chopped Cilantro stalks (and baby spinach if using) and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add salt and turmeric powder. Stir through.
- Garnish with fresh chopped coriander & freshly squeezed lemon juice, when serving.