Make This: Kitchari
by Maggie Q
Kitchari is one of my favorite foods on the planet. Simply put: It’s perfect. (For me, anyway.)
Whenever I need a reset or my immune system is struggling or even when I need clarity of thought because of external stressors, I turn to this nourishing Ayurvedic food. I love the principles of Ayurveda because they are all about bringing the body into balance.
The ancient science of Ayurveda believes all healing begins with the digestive tract. Kitchari, while providing essential nutrients, gives the digestive system a much-needed rest from constantly processing different foods. The blend of rice and split mung beans offers an array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Its mixture of spices is believed to kindle the digestive fire, the Ayurvedic description for your innate digestive power, which can be weakened by poor food combinations.
If you feel you need a reset, especially at the start of this new decade, try this for 3 days straight. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll be cleansing without fasting—the best of both worlds. Give it a try; it may change the way you treat your body for a lifetime!
1 cup basmati rice
½ cup organic whole or split mung beans (bulk section of the health food store)
6-8 cups of water or vegetable stock
2 Tbs ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
1 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 pinches hing (optional)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (add more if you like ginger)
½ tsp of Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander powder
½ teaspoon of turmeric
Soak the rice and mung beans overnight. In a medium saucepan on low heat, warm cumin and mustard seeds until they toast. Add the ghee or coconut oil. Be careful as this burns easily. Add the rest of the spices and sauté for one to two minutes. Add rice, mung beans, and salt. Sauté for another couple of minutes. Then add six to eight cups of water (or vegetable stock) and bring to a boil. Add additional salt, if needed.
Once the kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until it is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Add cilantro and salt or Bragg’s liquid aminos to taste. Pour into bowls, squeeze some lime and top with additional cilantro for garnish.