How to make Kitchari using the Banyan Kitchari Kit

Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice
1⁄2 cup mung dal
3 teaspoons kitchari spice mix
2 tablespoons ghee
6 cups water
1 – 2 cups chopped vegetables (optional)

Preparation:

Wash rice and mung dal and soak overnight. Drain soak water.

In a medium saucepan warm the ghee. Add the kitchari spice mixture and sauté for one to two minutes. Add rice and mung beans and sauté for another couple of minutes. Then add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until it is tender (approx. 30-45 minutes). If you are adding vegetables to your kitchari, add the longer cooking vegetables such as carrots and beets halfway through the cooking. Add the vegetables that cook faster such as leafy greens near the end. Add more water if needed. Typically, kitchari is the consistency of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. Garnish with fresh cilantro and add salt to taste (optional).

Makes 4 servings

KITCHARI

Ayuvedic herbs

In Ayurveda, things that we ingest are divided into three categories:

    • Poison
    • Medicine
    • Neutral

Poison is defined as anything that hinders digestion. Medicine is considered to be anything that we ingest that aids the digestive process. Neutral is anything we ingest that gives support and nourishment without either aiding or hindering the digestive process.

Kitchari is a unique because it falls under both the neutral and medicinal categories. It not only provides nourishment for the body, but, due to its spice combination, also benefits digestion. This makes kitcheri an ideal food of choice during times of stress on the body, such as during an illness, periods of overwork or change of seasons. It is also an especially good food to use while on a mono-diet as part of an internal cleansing regime.

There are several variations to a basic kitcheri recipe and the one below is basic, easy to start with, and balancing to all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). You will find that the ingredients are readily available at most health food and East Indian grocery stores.

Basic Kitchari

Ingredients:

2-3 TBS ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small pinch of asafoetida (“hing”) powder
1 cup split yellow mung dal, rinsed well, soaked overnight and drained. (It is best to use mung dal with the hulls still on if you tend toward constipation).
1 tsp rock salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed well and drained.
4 cups water if using a pressure cooker or about 6 cups if using a regular pot.
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
4-5 thin slices of fresh ginger root

Using either a pressure cooker (much faster) or a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee on medium heat. Ghee burns easily, so be careful. Saut the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the ghee until the seeds pop. Then add the drained mung dal, asafoetida powder, turmeric and salt. Stir until the mix almost starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Then add the rice, water, cumin powder, coriander powder and ginger. Stir well, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pressure cooker or pot.

If you are using a pressure cooker, fasten the lid on and turn the heat to high, let full pressure build up. Once the pressure has built up, turn the heat low and let cook five minutes. Then take the cooker off the heat and let it sit until there is no more pressure and you can safely open the lid.

If you’re using a regular pot, cover and bring it to a boil on high heat. Then turn the heat down and let it simmer until both the rice and dahl are mushy.

You may have to experiment with how much water you use to find a consistency that you like. (The more water, the thinner the consistency). A thinner consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak. You will notice that kitcheri will thicken when it cools and you may need more water than you originally thought.

In order to provide the best quality of energy to your body, Kitcheri should be made the day that you wish to eat it and served hot.

Garnish

      • Fresh cilantro (great for pitta – ok for vata and kapha)
      • Coconut (great for pitta, good for vata, but not so good for kapha)
      • Lime (ok for everybody)

Ghee

Heat one pound of unsalted organic butter over low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. During this entire process, do not stir butter at all. The butter will begin to simmer and will make a little crackling noise. After about 15-20 minutes, there will be a thin covering on the top and a thicker, curdy sediment stuck to the bottom of the pot. At this point you need to watch the ghee very carefully so it doesn’t burn. When the crackling sound has almost entirely stopped; the butter is a completely clear, beautiful golden color through to the bottom, and there are only a few air bubbles on the surface, it is done. Let it cool for an hour and then strain it carefully into a clean, glass container. Be sure that the sediment at the bottom of the pan remains there; it contains the impurities from the butter and can be discarded. The foamy layer on top of the ghee is fine. Ghee can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated.

If you don’t feel like making ghee, you can buy it at most health food stores or East Indian grocery stores.

Copyright

The above information was written by Dr. Claudia Welch and edited by Melody Mischke for the exclusive use of Banyan Botanicals. The information is protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without the written permission of Dr. Claudia Welch and Banyan Botanicals. More about Dr. Claudia Welch



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