Here’s my recipe for one of my favorite yogic dishes, kitchari! My friend and owner, Govindas, of Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica showed me how to make this meal and I’ve been rollin with it ever since.
This meal taken as a cleanse or monodiet will heal your body, especially your intestinal tract, as it's considered to be the most wholesome to put in the yogi’s body.
Here’s how I do it, feel free to play around with the ingredients!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 1 cup yellow split mung dahl
Soak rice and mung dahl in separate bowls until soft-ish. This process usually takes 1 to 2 hours. This will make it easier to digest when in your body.
Here’s where it gets fun! Pick a few of your favorite sattvic veggies: most mild veggies are considered sattvic.
Sattvic means “pure” or “balanced” in terms of Ayurvedic eating. Meaning, foods that are not aggravating, irritating, heating, or heavy and weighty. Avoid pungent veggies like hot peppers, shallots, leeks, garlic, onion, gas forming veggies such as mushrooms and/or potatoes.
Some of my favorite staples for kitchari:
- kabocha squash
1 1/2 to 2 handfuls of each vegetable should do the trick. Use your knife to cut them into shapes of small squares.
What kind of texture would you like?
If you want a gooey/mushy/soft porridge-like kitchari, put all the before mentioned veggies and grains into a big pot with 6-7 cups water. Bring stove to low boil and cook. Watch the pot so it doesn’t burn, stir it around every 15 minutes or so until it looks ready.
Add more water as you see fit.
If you want a more solid/crunchy/munchy experience when eating kitchari, then here’s what we’re going to do. Cook the grains and veggies separately.
Place the quinoa, rice and dahl in a big pot with 3 cups (equal parts) water.
Cook and watch the pot so it doesn’t burn.
For the veggies: get a big pan or wok, heat with coconut oil, olive oil or ghee. Place longest cooking vegetables in first-- so carrots in to start, stir stir stir for 2-3 minutes, add the kabocha squash, stir stir stir for another 2-4 minutes, add broccoli, let them cook, add kale.
You may need to add in more oil or water to keep the veggies from getting too crispy. When it looks done, turn stove off and cover with lid. Let all the flavors and juices settle and seep in. Add in chopped celery for the very last step, so it’s still a little hard and crunchy. I find the flavor of celery to be most potent when raw/mildly cooked.
Last step! Get another pan out, a smaller one. This one’s for what makes kitchari, kitachari. What you’ll need:
Heat the pan up, put a heaping scoop of ghee into the pan. (about 5 teaspoons or 1 big spoonful) Add 2 tablespoons each of turmeric, cumin and coriander to the mix. Use wooden spoon to mix around the spices, when comes to an aromatic smell and ghee starts to bubble up in the pan, turn heat off. This is the magic of what makes kitchari tastes so good... The more you practice, the better it will taste. Each time will get better and better.
Pour this into the pan with the veggies and mix, then mix veggies with grains in the big pot. If you cooked the grains and veggies together, just pour the ghee and spices into the pot and mix. There will be leftover ghee and spices in the pan-- take a spoonful of grains to soak it all up and place back into pot.
Here we go! Ready to eat! Scoop a portion onto a plate, add extra ghee in for taste, add yummy sea salt if you choose, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro (leaf and vine), add raisins if you wish...and
Once kitchari in pot cools down a bit, place in glass tupperware for future eating. If you’re doing a monodiet cleanse, this should last you about 5 to 7 days in the fridge (2 meals per day.)