I’ve always been intrigued by this dish because of it’s vibrant yellow color. It’s quite beautiful, if you ask me. It also doesn’t help much that I’m instinctively drawn to vibrant colors/patterns/things either, but you may have already guessed that.
And after coming across a picture of it most recently, I thought to myself, “What is this beautiful dish called Kitchari!). So after doing a little research, I found that Kitchari(also known as Khichdi, which means a mixture of rice and beans), is not only beautiful, but it is also widely known for being used in cleansing and healing in digestion in Ayurvedic Medicine along with aiding in other things as well. Elephant Journal and The Ayurveda Institute were good sources of information in exploring this dish and they inspired me to make a more “relaxed” version of the dish. If you are not “cleansing” per say, then you can use a different grain of rice or type of bean if you choose, granted it will change the taste of the dish completely. But with these ingredient, I found this dish to be quite comforting. With every bite, I can almost feel all these wonderful ingredients doing wonders for my body.
Recipe: Serves 5 – 6
1 cup of White Basmati Rice (rinse thoroughly)
1 cup of Split Mung Dahl Beans
(discard any pebbles and rinsed thoroughly. You can also soak these in water for an hour or so and it will cut down the cooking time, but it’s not a must)
1 can of unsweetened Coconut Milk
5 – 6 cups of Vegetable Broth ( can be substituted with water)
(You may need more depending on how thick you like it)
3 tablespoons of Coconut Oil (can substitute with Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, etc.)
1 tablespoon of Ginger (minced)
1 cup of Kale ( take off rib, cleaned, and cut into bite size pieces)
1 shallot (diced)
2 medium size Carrots (diced)
1 tablespoon of Yellow Mustard Seeds
1 tablespoon of Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin
Sea Salt/Ground Pepper to taste (optional)
Recipe adapted from this Healing Stew, which I found most beneficial and interesting to read.
In a large pot, heat your coconut oil over medium heat. Add in your cumin, turmeric, and mustard seeds and stir( **note** – use utensils that won’t stain because, turmeric will turn it yellow) for a few minutes. Then add in rice, beans, shallots, carrots, and ginger and stir for an additional 3-5 minutes. Next, stir in your veggie broth/water, cover your pot and let your ingredients simmer on low heat for around 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes into the cooking process, is when you will add in your can of coconut milk and continue cooking until you have the consistency you desire(your cook time will be a little less if you pre-soaked your beans. The key, is letting it simmer until your rice and beans are soft and you have a thick, soupy consistency. If you feel like you need to add more water then do so.). The very last thing that you will do is stir in your kale about 5 minutes prior to you taking it off the heat.
**Notes** – Nice additions to this dish are a few sprigs of cilantro and/or a squeeze of lime. Also feel free to add or omit whatever veggies you like with this dish, winter squash or zucchini would be nice as well. It’s totally up to you.