Healing Detox Kitchari
Composed of basmati rice and mung dal (lentils), kitchari originates on the Asian subcontinent and has references dating back thousands of years. The use of spices and vegetables can produce balancing effects for the three doshas (body types). Basmati rice and mung dal together create a balanced food that is a good protein combination (it combines legumes and grains). Lentils are a good source of the amino acid lysine though lack methionine and cysteine. Grains are the perfect complement as they lack lysine but contain the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Amino acids are needed for the development of protein and are vital in promoting wound repair and encouraging healthy tissue in muscles, bones, skin and hair.
Kitchari is often taken as a fast, where a person will consume only kitchari for a number of days. This helps to aid in the clearance of toxins (ama) and strengthen their digestive fire (agni). In other words, the perfect detox food. It is very gentle on the digestion and often given to babies and young children in India. It is also given to people who are ill or recovering from illness. It is a comforting food that is healthy, nourishing and gives strength and vitality to the body by nourishing the tissues. It is a simple one pot dish packed with nutrition. In fact, I am making this for dinner tonight as my daughters love it.
- ½ cup split yellow mung beans
- ½ cup white basmati rice
- 1- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 4 cups homemade vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- Pinch of asafetida (Hing). This helps with digestion.
- 1 cup of any mixed vegetables I use carrot, green beans, cauliflower or spinach. (If digestion is severely compromised, you can leave out the vegetables).
- Fresh lime or lemon wedges. I usually squeeze some lemon juice for taste.
- Coconut yogurt or grass fed organic plain yogurt
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Soak mung beans in filtered water overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook, drain the mung beans and rinse. Place rice in a sieve and rinse. Peel and chop vegetables, then set them aside.
- Heat ghee over medium heat. Add cumin, fennel and black mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes to release aromatics, and until the mustard seeds have popped. Add the rest of the spices (turmeric, ginger and Hing ) and stir to combine.
- Add a cup of vegetable stock. Then add mung beans, coconut milk, rice and vegetables, then add the rest of the stock (or water).
- Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes. Check the pot periodically and stir to avoid rice sticking to the bottom. Add more water if you want a soupier consistency, and simmer longer to get a thicker porridge.
- Serve with fresh cilantro, fresh lime or lemon juice, spoon of yogurt and sea salt and pepper to taste.