Kitchari, also called Khichdi or Khichri, has been around for centuries and originates from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. It is traditionally prepared of yellow mung dal and basmati rice, packed with powerful, healing spices and ghee. There are many variations of this amazing staple, and is incredibly easy to make. It is often a baby’s first solid food, nourishment for the elderly and ill, but also the healthy looking for a cleanse or giving their bodies a break. Kitchari is considered a mono-nutrient fast in Ayurveda, allowing our entire digestive system a pause from having to break down more complex foods, in essence it allows our intestines to take a rest with minimal effort, yet providing incredible nutrition and easy assimilation by our tissues.
One of the two main ingredients of Kitchari are yellow mung dal beans, which are high in protein and resistant starch and fiber, providing us with slow releasing energy, and keeping us satiated for a long time…essentially eating less. Mung beans are a high source of nutrients including: manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins. Kitchari is fabulous for breakfast, lunch or dinner; take it with you in a thermos and you’re good to go. The other main traditional ingredient is basmati rice, but if you are like me you cannot eat hot or warm rice without major bloating and belly pain, so our Kitchari recipe offers quinoa, providing a double protein punch to this meal. Our recipe is vegetarian, but if you are vegan, you can substitute with coconut oil instead of ghee. Kitchari is incredibly easy to make and inexpensive.
So how amazing is quinoa? Take a stroll on the George Mateljan Foundation for more information: here’s the nutritional excerpt [Quinoa is food of high protein quality and is typically regarded as an adequate source of all essential amino acids, including lysine and isoleucine. It provides a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients, including ferulic, coumaric, hydroxybenzoic, and vanillic acid. Antioxidant flavonoids including quercetin and kaempferol are also especially plentiful in quinoa. Anti-inflammatory polysaccharides in quinoa include arabinans and rhamnogalacturonans. Many members of the vitamin E tocopherol family are provided by quinoa, including important amounts of gamma-tocopherol. Quinoa is a very good source of manganese. It is also a good source of phosphorus, copper, magnesium, dietary fiber, folate and zinc.]
- 1 cup of Quinoa (we used red)
- 2 cups of Yellow Split Mung Dal Beans
- 8 cups of Water (please make sure not to add all water at once, and depending on consistency you may wish to add just a bit more)
- 2 tbsps Ghee
- 2 tsps brown or black Mustard Seeds
- 2 tsps Cumin Seeds
- 2 tsps Fennel Seeds
- 2 tsps Rainbow Peppercorn
- 2 tsps Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 Cardamom Pods
- 2 Cloves
- 1 – 2 small to medium Cinnamon Sticks (we like them for Fall/Winter)
- * 1 bunch of Broccolini (chopped bite size)
- * 4 – 6 medium to large Rainbow Carrots (chopped bite size)
* Note: The veggies should yield about 5 cups or a little more for this dish. Feel free to substitute any organic vegetables such as celery, kale, bok choy, or spinach. Avoid nightshades.
Wash both quinoa and mung dal beans a few times and check for any stones, but if you use the truRoots quinoa brand you should not encounter any. Dal needs to soak overnight in water, then drain. In a large pot, heat ghee nice and hot, add all seeds and peppercorn including cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Allow for the seeds and pods to pop in the hot oil, then add the bay leaves, and all other spices. Stir for a few moments, so that all flavors open and mesh. Now it’s time to add the quinoa, mung dal, and chopped veggies – stir well for about a minute, then add 6 cups of water. Cover and reduce to the lowest heat. After 25 – 30 minutes add 2 more cups of water, stir well and cover. Check-in about 30 minutes later, and if the consistency is how you like it, turn the heat off and let your Kitchari sit for a little. Serve warm. As you’ve noticed there is no salt listed in the ingredients. We suggest that you sprinkle a little bit of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt on your serving, but not add it as part of the cooking process, as it can turn your dish into a sodium bomb.
This dish is a celebration for your entire body and soul, please give it a try and let us know how you like it.
Enjoy! Yogi Jo