Kitcheree / Kitchari

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Kitchari who now?

Kitchari is an Ayurvedic dish which is often served at yoga retreats. In the kindali yoga tradition, kitchari is eaten as it’s a giver – it gives a lot of energy and nourishment and doesn’t require much energy for digestion. Kitchari is made with basmati rice, mung dahl (split peas), a medley of spices (turmeric, ground coriander, chili flakes, ginger, fennel, cardamom, black pepper) and a full load of veggies. Ghee (lactose-free clarified butter) is commonly used for this type of recipe but vegetable oil could be used in its place without losing the authenticity of the dish. My kitchari recipe is based on the basic Ayurvedic one but, “PLOT TWIST!”, I’ve swapped white basmati rice for brown basmati rice. 🙂 As you will hopefully soon find out, kitchari is ridiculously easy to concoct and ’tis an amazing meal to get yourself back on track after a nutritional slump.

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Kitcheree/Kitchari

Serves: 4 generously

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup yellow split peas, uncooked (check for tiny stones before cooking)
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, uncooked and rinsed well
  • 8 cups water
  • 6-7 cups assorted vegetables (As per your personal preference. Options include: carrots, celery, broccoli, mushrooms, bok choy, kale, chard, etc.)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed with a garlic press
  • 2 onions
  • 1 thumb ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb turmeric root, peeled and minced (1.5 tsp. ground turmeric)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. fennel, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli flakes (add 1 tsp. if you are an avid fan of spicy food)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cook your brown basmati rice (1 1/2 cup water for 1 cup rice ratio).
  2. During this time, prepare the spice mixture. In a skillet, combine ghee or oil with garlic, ginger root, turmeric root, onion and all spices.
  3. Add split peas and 3 cups water to rice and stir well. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add split pea/rice mixture to skillet and stir, trying to coat the rice/split peas with the oil/spice mixture.
  5. Return the whole shebang to a large pot, add 3 1/2 cups of water and continue to cook on low-medium heat, until desired consistency is obtained. Some may prefer kitchari more solid whereas others may prefer it more cooked and hence liquid-y/porridge-y.

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Now get a belly full! Namaste! 🙂

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