This Ayurvedic Kitchari is made with split lentils, rice, and warming spices. The perfect savoury and nourishing porridge.
Ayurvedic kitchari, the ultimate "feel-good food". This week has been a bit of a haze, both figuratively and literally. Wildfires all across the province have covered Vancouver in a heavy cloud of smog and smoke. The air is soupy and burns ours eyes and throat if we spent more than an hour or so outside.
The drastic levels of pollution coupled with the heatwave in the North West means we've been cooped up during the time of year we should be beachside. Truth be told, that could be something in itself to complain about. Yet the forced home-bodyness has proved to be productive. I've gone out of my way this week to turn to healthy things in order to feel balanced amid this natural disaster.
Maybe it's a little overboard, who's to say, but I've gotten a little wild making everyone I know homemade/all-natural/cruelty-free lotions, salves, and herbal medicines, as well as turning towards medicinal foods to help heal us from the inside out. Feeling small in a big world, it's the little things that make me feel powerful.
- Moong Dal or Red Lentils
- Brown Basmati Rice
- Cumin Seeds
- Mustard Seeds
- Ground Turmeric
- Ground Coriander
- Fennel Seeds
- Mix Veggies (I used cauliflower and carrot, chopped small)
- Cilantro and chilli for garnish
What is Kitchari?
One of the foods we've been eating loads of is kitchari. It also happens to be one of my all-time favourite "healing" foods. A basic meal to Ayurvedic cooking, kitchari is a simple one-pot dish made up of basmati rice and mung beans, that dates back thousands of years.
In Ayurvedic practice, there are three types of dosha (or forces in a body - you can take a test here to find yours) and kitchari is one of the few foods which is supposedly good for all of them. Although this dish is typically eaten during cleanses because of it's high levels of complete proteins, vitamins, and it's ability to be easily digested by the body, it can be enjoyed at any time. It's basically India's own chicken noodle soup. Good for the body, mind, and soul.
While I like to eat my kitchari for breakfast (think savoury oatmeal—much like this recipe), it can easily be consumed for any meal of the day and is one of those dishes I love having in the fridge for leftovers. I like to add veggies like cauliflower to mine, but feel free to sub whatever you have on hand, or exclude them altogether.
To make this Ayurvedic Kitchari, begin by heating the oil in medium. Add the cumin, coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds. Cook over medium heat until the spices become fragrant.
Next add the ginger, turmeric, rice, lentil, mixed veggies, and water.
Bring this mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and porridge like, and the rice cooked.
Tips + Tricks
- If you don't have moong dal use red lentils
- Use whatever veggies you have access too. Try frozen mixed veggies for an easy option.
- If you like this savoury porridge, try this Quinoa Congee or Ginger Dal
- 1 Cup Moong Dal (split mung beans)
- ½ Cup Brown Basmati Rice, rinsed
- About 1 Tbsp. of Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
- ½ tsp. Ground Turmeric
- 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp. Fennel Seeds
- A large 1 Inch Piece of Ginger, grated
- 1 ½ Cup Mix Veggies (I used cauliflower and carrot, chopped small)
- 5 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt, plus more to taste
- Cilantro and chilli for garnish
- Heat the oil in medium pot and add the cumin, coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds. Cook over medium heat until the spices become fragrant. Add the ginger, turmeric, rice, lentil, mixed veggies, and water.
- Bring this mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and porridge like, and the rice cooked.Season with salt and serve with a handful of cilantro and chilli for garnish.
You can also use white lentil (urad dal). If neither are available to you, try split red lentils.
Weekend Links + Loves
- A little bit of love for being you and not caring if people approve. This life lesson took me a while to figure out, but it's seriously one of the best.
- Loving these ceramic water bottles made by the co-founders of Kleen Kanteen. And unlike Kleen Kanteen, these are locally made within the USA. Heck yes!
- As I mentioned, I've been on a major DIY kick this week - producing homemade lotion, calendula balm, and beachy hair spray. So this list of foods that belong on your hair and skin is just perfect. If you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin <3
- I can't be the only one who gets baffled by all the adaptogens, right? If you're like me this simple guide will help give you some basic adaptogen info and the low down on what to take for what ailment.
- I'm delighted to see Marlee's IG hit the big league. If you don't already follow her, you'll be sure to find some inspiration in her work + practice.
- Kind of loving this 'no substitute' stance on special diets. Stop pretending stuff is what it isn't and we'll all be a lot happier.
- In the midst of this heat wave I am definitely making this Lavender, Chamomile, and Scullcap Cooler courtesy of Summer; loving Renee's Mermaid Lemonade dream concoction; dreaming of this Faux Cold-brew à la Sherry; these Cashew Coffee Popsicles from Agnes; and finally Sasha's Hormone Balancing Fudge.