Remember that your food will absorb the energy of your mindset and state of being while you are cooking. You can assist your healing process by bringing good intentions and a sense of presence into your kitchen.
Kitchari is a stew-type meal that is prepared from basmati rice and split mung dal. During a cleanse, appropriate vegetables provide texture, flavor, and an important source of fiber.
Kitchari is very easy to digest, which makes it a wonderful food for any cleansing regimen. It allows the digestive system to rest, allocating extra energy to the body’s natural detoxification processes.
The quantities in this recipe provide a good starting point for a day’s supply of kitchari, but as you learn your preferences and habits, you are welcome to adjust the quantities to better fit your needs.
1 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cup yellow mung dal (or yellow lentils if mung beans are not available)
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon kitchari spice mix*
1 teaspoon natural mineral salt
6 cups water
2 cups easily digestible vegetables (such as asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, summer squash, sweet potato, winter squash, or zucchini)
If you’d like to create your own spice mix for kitchari, follow this recipe:
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Soak the split mung dal overnight (or for at least four hours).
Strain the soaking water, combine with the rice and rinse the mixture at least twice, or until the water runs clear, and set aside.
In a medium saucepan or soup pot, warm the ghee over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
Add the turmeric, coriander, fennel, and fresh ginger. Stir briefly, until aromatic.
Stir the rice and dal mixture into the spices and sauté for a few moments, stirring constantly.
Add the 6 cups of water, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil.
When the soup comes to a boil, stir in the salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about forty minutes.
Meanwhile, cut your vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces. About halfway through the kitchari’s cooking process, stir in the vegetables and allow the stew to return to a boil.
Continue to simmer until the rice, dal, and vegetables are fully cooked. Remove from heat, cool, and serve.
Note: some vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and winter squash, might require more cooking time and may be added earlier, if necessary.
Aim to have very little water remaining when finished. The consistency should be that of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. While you want the beans, rice, and vegetables to be thoroughly cooked, excess water and over-stirring can cause the ingredients to become thick and gummy.
Garnish the kitchari with fresh cilantro and a sqeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!