If I am feeling hungry and wanting something quick, this is one of my favouite staples that I regularly have for lunch or dinner or even both. So I made it for 3 very health conscious friends on Saturday evening and they seemed to really enjoy it. This basic, nutritiously wholesome Ayurvedic recipe is tridoshic and can be can be adapted to suit all constitutions and tastes. You can vary the mung from whole green to split green to hulled yellow mung or change the rice part to barley or short grain brown rice and of course you can pick and choose which vegetables you fancy.
This dish is perfect for balancing all doshas and those who are trying to strengthen their agni (digestive fire). The simplest version is often used as part of the pancakarma diet – without herbs and vegetables and also makes for a good accompaniment for vegetable curry dishes). Traditionally the simple version is reknowned in the Indian tradition as the food we have when we are sick.
Kitchari (rice with green mung dahl & vegetables)
Ghee—3 to 6 tsp.
Whole Spices—2 to 3 tsp. e.g.
Cumin, other optional whole spices: Coriander, Fennel, Fenugreek.
Herbs—1/2 tsp. powdered herbs, e.g. cumin, coriander, turmeric, fresh ginger, salt to taste
Bay leaf—1 (optional)White basmati rice—1/2 cup.
Split green mung dhal—1/2 cup (now available in most large supermarkets of health food shops)
Water—2 cups, may need to add more
Vegetables of your choice—1-2 cups, dice (1cm size) e.g. carrots, peas, potato, cabbage, kale, onion. (optional)
- Heat ghee in medium-sized saucepan until melted then add whole spices & herbs. Stir. Allow the aromas release (1 minute).
- Add mixed and rinsed rice and mung dahl and spices to the pan and stir cook for 15 minutes
- Add the veg & water and stir. Bring to the boil, then reduce to low heat and cook covered for 30—60 mins or until vegetables are well cooked, but not mushy! Avoid stirring while cooking. The final consistency should like a thick porridge.
Add salt to taste and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes. Serve while hot