This traditional Ayurvedic dish is super nourishing and very easily digestible. It is also extremely versatile since the grain/pulse combinations and the vegetables can be varied. Kitchari literally means mixture, usually of two grains.
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup split yellow lentils
6 cups Tulsi Turmeric Ginger tea (approximately)
2-3cm ginger root, finely chopped or grated
Pinch of mineral salt
2 tsp. ghee
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
1 and 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional) e.g. pumpkin, peas, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, long green beans.
Handful of fresh coriander leaves (garnish)
Make the Tulsi Turmeric ginger tea in a 6-cup teapot or plunger using at least 4 teabags. Set aside and steep for at least 5 minutes.
While the Tulsi is steeping, get all of your other ingredients ready.
Rinse and strain the rice until the rinsing water is clear.
Rinse and strain the lentils until the water runs clear, removing any stones.
Place the rice, lentils, ginger and 5 cups Tulsi Turmeric Ginger into a saucepan and cook covered for approximately 20 minutes, or until the dal becomes soft.
Cut the vegetables of choice into small pieces and add for the final 10 minutes cooking time. Add the additional Tulsi tea as the rice and lentils cook, if you think the mixture requires more moisture.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the cumin & mustard seeds in the ghee, then add the other spices and stir through. Mix all spices into the dal.
Just before serving, add mineral salt to taste.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
Note: My children like to stir extra ghee into their kitcheree. I like to soak my grains and lentils beforehand, to increase digestibility. Any amount of soaking time can help. I soak them at lunch time. I often make kitcheree with brown rice rather than white, because it is so incredibly nutritious. If you have soaked the lentils and rice first, you will need to reduce the quantity of Tea. Start with 5 cups and add more as the Kitcheree cooks if required.
Sarada (Sally Martin) is a naturopath, herbalist, yoga teacher, mum, nature-lover and free spirit who lives by the forest and the beach, near Byron Bay.
Sarada works as Team Leader for ORGANIC INDIA AUS & NZ and is passionate about healthy, conscious living.