If you haven't heard of this simple ayurvedic dish yet, your life is about to change. Kitchadi is Ayurevda's answer to nurse body and mind quickly back to balance. Traditionally made with white rice and mung beans, this simple albeit delicious one-pot meal is not only ridiculously easy to prepare, it is also very easy to digest making it the perfect meal for when Agni - the digestive fire feels weak or needs some rest or when you are feeling under the weather. The ease of digestion while providing enough nutrients to sustain the body also makes Kitchadi the meal of choice for an ayurvedic cleanse or detox. Nurture yourself with a warm bowl of kitchadi on a cold day or when you feel you need some extra care. Chances are you will love the simplicity and comfort it provides so much that it will be a meal that regularly shows up on your table. The consistency of kitchadi can be easily adjusted from soupy to thick and hearty by varying the amount of water you use. For a creamy sticky porridge-like texture use a pressure cooker.
Cook-time: 10min in a pressure cooker or 25min on the stove-top
1/4 cup white rice
1/8 cup split yellow mung beans
1 tbsp ghee
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
Pinch turmeric powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin powder
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
3-4 curry leaves
Handful fresh coriander
A few drops of lime
Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker/pot and add fennel seeds
Once the seeds start crackling add fresh ginger and curry leaves and cook for about 30sec or till you can smell the aroma of the spices - do not burn.
Add rice and mung beans along with salt, turmeric and cumin powder and stir to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes*
Add 1/1.25 cups of boiling water.
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles and take it off the heat. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Alternatively, cook on the stove top on medium heat with lid on for around 25min or until beans are soft.
If required, add more water till you achieve the desired consistency.
Then add chopped fresh coriander and a few drops of lime juice.
Let sit for around 5 minutes with the lid on allowing the tastes and elements in the dish to harmonise. Serve warm.
The traditional kitchari has no variations - it has the same basic components: white rice, split mung beans, ghee, turmeric and ginger. If needed, a couple more spices as in the above recipe. That's it..Why? Because it has a special purpose. It is used during illness, recovery from an illness, during a cleanse/detox or when Agni - the digestive fire needs rest. And in order to that, this is how it is supposed to be made, If you change any of the ingredients like using a different grain or legume or adding veggies, it will still be an ayurvedic meal, a twist on kitchadi but not kitchadi in the traditional sense.
Proportion of rice:mung beans should not be changed in order to maintain the 60:40 proportion of augmenting: extractive foods of the ayurvedic balanced bowl. Read more about it here.