Saffron & Asparagus Kitchari Recipe | Banyan Botanicals

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Saffron-Asparagus Kitchari

posted in Recipes & DIY
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Kapha-Pacifying Recipe: Asparagus Saffron Risotto

Spring is the time to leave the dull of winter behind and adjust to the increasing heat and moisture in the air. The fresh, light, and drying qualities of asparagus and saffron are a welcome relief after months of eating heavier winter foods. This recipe is suitable for vata, pitta, and kapha, making it ideal to serve to a group of friends or family at your next picnic.

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  • ⅛ teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3 to 4 curry leaves (available at Indian groceries, fresh if you can get them)
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ cup split mung dal
  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus (2-3 cups chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin


Dry-roast the saffron in the bottom of a heavy pan. Add the ghee, cumin, and fenugreek seeds and warm over low heat until cumin seeds are brown. Add the curry leaves, onion, and asafoetida and stir. Slow sauté until onion is tender, a minute or two. Wash the dal and rice until the rinse water is clear, drain and add to the spice mixture. Add the water and salt and cook until tender, about an hour. While the kitchari is cooking, wash and chop the asparagus into 1 inch slices. Fifteen minutes before serving, steam the asparagus and stir it and the ground cumin into the kitchari. If working with only vata, the asparagus can be sautéed in an additional tablespoon of ghee until tender, then added to the kitchari.