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Join me and my husband in a Kitchari cleanse!

September 23, 2014

Making Kitcheri during the cooking workshopMy husband and I will be eating just kitchari over the next few days to help counter the excesses of summer. This dish has a simple nurturing quality and is the Ayurvedic equivalent of giving chicken soup during illness.  For those who want a deeper cleanse, you can eat just mung bean soup for up to 10 days.  See here for an earlier article. There are endless variation of kitchari (Amadea Morningstar’s Ayurvedic cookbook has about 8 including ones for lungs, liver, and speen!). For this recipe you need:

1 cup basmati rice; 1 cup yellow or green mung dhal; 3 cm chopped ginger; 2 tablespoons shredded coconut; 1 handful of coriander leaves, 3 tbsps. ghee, coconut or olive oil; 3 bay leaves, 5 cm of cinnamon bark; 5 cardamom pods; 5 cloves; 10 black pepper corns; ½ teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin seeds, fennel seeds; pinch of asafoetida; 6 cups water; one cup of diced seasonal vegetables; fresh lime or lemon juice.

Soak the dhal for at lest 4 hours. Wash rice and dhal separately in at least 2 changes of water. Blend the ginger, coconut, coriander and ½ cup water.  Heat a large saucepan, adding the ghee or oil, then the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir for a moment until fragrant. Add the blended items, then turmeric, asafoetida and salt. Stir until browned. Stir in the mung dhal and rice and mix well. Add 6 cups of water, cover and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Then simmer until both the dal and rice are soft (around 30 minutes) adding more water if required. You can add vegetables that suit your constitution for a one pot meal. This dish can be firm, like risotto, or soupier by adding more water. Serve with a fresh chutney- see here for more recipes eg: Raisin and ginger chutney, Beetroot raita.