Kitchari in Ayurveda is used for different purposes. In my experience, it is mainly the simplest dish to make with only two basic ingredients: lentils and rice. The variations are endless changing the spices, vegetables, grains and type of lentils.
Kitchari is usually used as mono-diet in the time of remission, disease, fatigue, or season and climate changes, simply because it provides all the nutrients and protein you need to operate, it is very easy to digest and because it’s good!
This recipe works for the 3 doshas. You can then explore the proportions, spices, grains and lentils that suit your constitution or imbalance.
• ½ cup white basmati rice (more digestible than brown)
• ½ cup of mung dal lentils splited or whole (less drying and more digestible than other lentils). Whole they are green, splited they can still be green or yellow.
• ½ teaspoon of ghee (or coconut oil)
• 1 pinch of cumin seeds
• 1 pinch of coriander seeds
• 1 pinch of fennel seeds
• 1 pinch black mustard seeds
• 1 pinch of turmeric powder
• 1 pinch of Himalayan pink salt
• 1 pinch of black pepper powder
• 4-6 cups of water (depending on the desired consistency)
• vegetables of your choice
• herbs (cilantro, parsley, etc.)
Makes: 4 servings Preparation time: 10 min. Cooking time: 20 to 30 min.
- If you have time, soak the lentils a few hours or overnight (this will make them easier to digest and to cook).
- Rinse the lentils and rice with fresh water.
- Heat the oil on medium heat (ghee or coconut oil) and saute the spices in seeds (cumin, coriander, fennel and black mustard) until the mustard seeds start to pop.
- Add lentils and rice, saute for one more minute, stirring with a spoon.
- Add water, salt, pepper and turmeric, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. The kitchari can take the consistency you want: more soup or denser. Add more water if you wish. Make sure the lentils and rice are cooked.
When Kitchari is ready, we no longer distinguish between the rice and lentils, they are completely mixed.
- Meanwhile, cook the steamed vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, green leafy vegetables …..)
- Serve the Kitchari with vegetables on top and sprinkle with coriander or parsley. It’s ready!
This dish can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can also choose to eat this dish for 2 -3 days in a row changing the spices and vegetables. This will be a little ‘cleanse’ and give a break to your digestive system. Feel free also to vary the grains (quinoa, millet, amaranth) and even lentils for red lentils (note they are more drying)
Personally, when my life becomes complex or that I do not know what to cook, my answer is always: ‘Kitchari’